I was scrolling through social media the other day…before all the tragic events in America took place. I noticed something really interesting. In the snippets of life seen on the social media platform, many friends were displaying things…people…that were making them hopeful. One had a photo of essential oils claiming to give joy and another peace…she had hope that it would. One talked about hoping for a favorable outcome in the presidential election—perhaps that would change the course of the nation. One talked about hoping for rain…about hoping for good news from a family member.
Then tragedy struck.
Social media…media in general…was reeling.
Feeling in the dark for answers…
As I was up this morning cleaning my floors…heartbroken over a nation that I love so much, the Lord spoke to me from Jeremiah.
“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
At the beginning of the chapter, the Lord is recalling a devoted Israel..how she lovingly followed Him without question into the wilderness. But then He shifts His thoughts to Israel’s current state. He becomes so broken in His heart for her. She had completely turned her back on Him. She refused to acknowledge His kindness. She failed to keep the testimony of His nature and therefore was no longer worshipping and loving Him in a way that His kindness and mercy and love called for. Somewhere—Israel abandoned her first love and began to chase after the worthless. And God says she became worthless.
Church….followers of Jesus…I fear we are falling into that same trap and it fills me with such brokenness. We have made broken cisterns—things that hold hope, yet prove false at the bottom…out of our 401k plans, our politicians, our jobs, our families, our programs, our oils, our distractions. We look to those things for purpose, hope and joy. They will fail us every time…we will reach in to pull out life and come up dry. If we make an idol of any creature—of any form of wealth, pleasure or honor—if we place our happiness in it and promise ourselves comfort and satisfaction in it—which are to be held in God alone—those things become as broken cisterns.
Tragedy always removes a thin veil of security that we have made for ourselves. Tragedy removes hope in things that are temporal. I am tired of seeing the Church reeling. I am tired of seeing her look like the rest of humanity when she is the body that carries the hope of Jesus in her. I am tired of judgement against one another, fear and cheap, self-serving love that accepts everything and stands for nothing. I am ready to see her rise up with a love for Jesus that is so pure that she becomes a light…a beacon of His love and a conduit of His power to those who are hurting. I am ready to see her filled with compassion during tragedy, but not crumbling and fumbling for answers. I’m ready to see her rise up as a strong tower…steady and constant…as one who has found peace. And for goodness sake…I am ready to see her more aligned with His heart than a political party.
Rise up Church. Creation waits.