Date: 29/11/2020
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When I Look Out Over This World

When I Look Out Over This World

© 2020 by Philip A Matthews – Christian Challenge Ministries

When I look out over this world, I can see that this world is almost overwhelmingly, mindbogglingly vast, complicated—and evil. Yes, it has its share of enjoyable moments, but for most of its 7.5 billion residents, it is largely filled with major, relentless negatives. Life is a mess—a big one! A person can get depressed just looking at the news every day. Problems, pain, pestilence, crime, betrayal, brutality, injustice, racism, systemic selfishness and dishonesty in all high places, untrustworthiness and peril everywhere we turn. Some people in the world suffer terribly simply because they can’t find a cup of pure drinking water, free of filth and disease. Some places lose one-half of their kids before age 5 because of poverty, sickness, and just being born in the wrong part of the world. And relief doesn’t appear to be coming soon—or ever at all!

And when I see just the little bit that I can see and imagine just a little bit of how badly so many millions suffer and feel, most because of the evil, corrupt, depraved, and sinful choices of someone else, I can’t help but wonder, “How in the world can God stand it all and keep loving us?!” I think about:

  • The horrible results of injustice, police brutality, and racial profiling, until I can’t stand to see any more tragic incidents or hear another black man helplessly begging for his life…
  • That poor sex-trafficked girl who’s raped 30 times a night… with no hope of deliverance in sight. One Christian minister hiked through an Asian village where there were no girls. They had all been sold—by their struggling, dirt-poor parents—to traffickers deceitfully promising lives of a “better” life for the girls and desperately-needed money being sent back home...  
  • That descendent of slaves who were so brutally used and abused that their genetic markers were changed forever. And they pass down these permanently flawed genes to their unsuspecting children, generation after generation, in a cursed, life-shortening, never-ending cycle of trauma, while the rest of the world keeps telling them to “get over it” and pull themselves up “by their own bootstraps,” willfully ignorantly failing to realize that they Have. No. Boots…
  • That student of mine who comes to class dirty, unbathed, wearing yesterday’s clothes every day, utterly unprepared to learn because, for various reasons beyond his control, he semi-homelessly lives with his single mother and brother in one-half of somebody’s unheated garage…
  • That poor young mother who has suffered so many unmentionable traumas in her young life that it’s a miracle she’s still alive—struggling with no self-esteem, nearly destroyed by others’ exploitation, afflicted by deep depression and hopelessness, but still slowly trudging on for some reason. Many a child has suffered much less but chose to end it all…
  • All those wonderful single women who’ve spent years looking for “another soul to love” and just ONE soul to truly love them in return, fruitlessly… because this world is almost bankrupt when it comes to REAL love…
  • I see all those failed or unhappy marriages and relationships, formed by people just looking for love, affirmation, and happiness like all the rest of us, but who, instead, find only broken promises, betrayal, disappointment, heart-break, despair, and divorce… only to start the frustrating cycle all over again, this time with the hope that “things are gonna be different,” with another broken, struggling, fraction of a person…

I look back over my own life and little traumas—a child of divorce, raised by a mentally ill mother, living 17 years in South Central LA in the biggest government housing project west of the Mississippi, being accosted by neighborhood thugs often, victimized by the usual generational curses in a “normal” African American family, determined to reject my mother’s “pitiful-looking little god” who lets all this mess continue and become an avowed atheist—but somehow, God’s LOVE broke through and salvaged me for a better life…

When I look out over the world, I just can’t keep from crying…and praying desperately…just to keep from despairing. I think, just get busy with the busyness of my own life, and I won’t have to think about all the rest of the crazy garbage going on…

Then I think of how JEHOVAH GOD, in His endless MERCY, unconditional LOVE, and unparalleled, every-day, unfailing FAITHFULNESS, has somehow miraculously carved out, for me and mine, a little place of inexplicable PEACE and heart-healing BLESSEDNESS. Not trouble-free, of course, because “as for man, the son of woman, his days are short and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). But I’m overwhelmed again with tears for all those unmerited blessings…

And yet—and this is the greatest miracle of it all—GOD, too, looks down, knowingly, on this complex craziness and STILL LOVES US ALL, STILL OFFERS US HOPE, STILL ENABLES US TO HEAL, STILL SHINES HIS LIGHT IN THIS PRESENT DARKNESS, STILL CHANGES PEOPLE AND THINGS AND CONDITIONS, AND PROMISES BY WORD AND DEED TO BE WITH US IN THE MIDST OF IT ALL! HE STILL OFFERS LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS, STREAMS IN THE DESERT, PEACE IN THE PAIN, FREEDOM FROM INWARD TROUBLE IN A TROUBLE-FILLED LAND! THROUGH JESUS WE CAN HAVE ETERNAL LIFE IN A DYING WORLD! “And this is Eternal Life: To KNOW, UNDERSTAND, and EXPERIENCE YOU, the ONLY TRUE GOD, and JESUS CHRIST, Whom You have sent” (John 17:3).

Then I know I can’t afford to give up and despair because there’s lots of work to do. Can’t cry all day. The whole world still needs to hear about and get to know GOD and experience His INFINITE HOPE, FAITH, and LOVE! BILLIONS STILL NEED HIS PERFECT PEACE AND HAPPINESS! TOO FEW FEEL HIS CONTENTMENT. TOO FEW HAVE FELT HIS HEALING TOUCH OF LIFE RESTORATION! BUT IT’S STILL POSSIBLE! SOME KIND OF WAY, DESPITE IT ALL, THE WORLD MAY BE RAGING, BUT YOU YOURSELF CAN BE DOING JUST FINE! DO YOU HAVE THIS?!

And then I’m INSPIRED ONCE AGAIN! I’m not the least bit tired after all!

Happy Sunday, everybody! God bless us all!