The events taking place in our nation this past week caused emotions to swirl around me like a torrent wind. Moments of hopelessness, despair, bewilderment, disappointment, shock, righteous anger, a desire to act, fix, help, pray, and seek answers all flew at me like the barn swallows on my front porch.
The birds have built a nest near my front door and they stop at nothing to attack anyone who passes near their babies. It is such a situation that just to walk to the mailbox, I wave a broom overhead to keep them from attacking. I am sure that my neighbors are severely concerned for my well-being, and rightly so!
I wish the birds would learn that by now that I am no threat to their nest or their babies. No matter how many times I walk by in peace, it does not matter, my head is attacked none the less. They fly right at me, dive-bombing, and turn at the last microsecond to change course. This is exactly how all the emotions came at me, dive-bombing and then turning on repeat, over and over.
Through the winds of thoughts swirling, through seeking and praying for guidance and direction, it became clear to me that I lacked knowledge in such a big way. A fresh desire to learn more and to educate myself where I am ignorant settled on me like a fog on a meadow. When I am searching for answers, for direction, for true knowledge, I start in God’s word.
There, I find that Jesus’ divine power grants all things for life and godliness through the knowledge of God. Through this, believers become partakers of this divine nature escaping corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this reason, every effort must be made to supplement my faith with virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love. (2 Peter 1:3-7)
If I posses these qualities through Christ and they increase, it keeps me from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus. If I lack them, I am so nearsighted that I am blind, forgetting I was cleansed from my sins. Therefore, I must be all the more diligent to confirm my calling and election in Christ, practicing all these qualities. (2 Peter 1:8-10)
Two words in the passage above caught my attention, gripping it in such a way, causing me to read the words in my Bible over and over: escaping corruption. Is not this what all people would desire? To escape corruption? The passage also listed why corruption is in the world, because of sinful desire.
There is only one weapon in the arsenal to fight sin: the blood of Jesus. The powerful blood of Jesus was shed out of God’s abundant, never-failing love for you, and for me. Believing that Christ died, conquered death, and arose again for us, is powerful. So powerful that it changes lives, obliterating evil and sin’s grip on a person.
In her book “The Gospel Comes with a House Key”, Rosaria Butterfield describes the costly and powerful blood of Jesus. She states,
“We need to…start facing the deep shadow of the cross, because there at the cross we see what Jesus did do and how God provided the way of escape at his expense and for our blessing. But make no mistake: the way is hard. It breaks you. It is best walked in the company of other broken people, accompanying one another in suffering, helping each other repent of sin, bear the cross, and make biblical sense of things.”
I am grateful for Peter’s reminder in scripture and I need the Lord’s help to posses these qualities and to have them increase in me. I need forgiveness of sin where I have failed. I need the Lord’s help to know, see, and act upon God’s perfect will for my life.
I have so much to learn, and I am willing and ready to change my ignorance on the sufferings of those around me who are hurting. Peter’s Biblical list of qualities to practice to supplement faith in Jesus and Rosaria’s description of how best to walk in faith was a great place for me, personally, to begin to grow anew in knowledge. It is my prayer that doing these things will bring God glory and will shine his love to all those I encounter.