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The Painful Question
By Marie Morrow

Heavenly Father, I ask that you teach me to see the overlay of grace. I want to see good that is in this world but all I see is pain. When you finished your work of creation and said, “It is good”, did you know what would become of this world? Did you see a fallen world destroying itself by greed and withering in pain? Did you see the cruelty and hate that would trample the weak? When you rested on the seventh day, did you not lament how Satan would seek to steal and destroy everything that is good?

How can you call it good, when the seeds of such pain had already been planted? How could it not break your heart to see what they have done to your beautiful world? If this is your world, how can you have resigned lordship over the “kingdoms of this world”? Why is Satan allowed place to rule over your creation?

My heart is so broken by the pain in this world. I try to heal and see beauty again but every day I see more pain. I used to be able to handle it. I used to have strength to do some good. But my heart has been so broken and grief has shown me depths of pain I never felt before. Now empathy is so painful, for I have known the depths of great sadness. The pain I see in the world now, hurts so much more. The suffering of the weak and the cruelty of the strong, each story in the news, each person’s grief, each one’s pain, falls heavily on my already broken heart. Yes, empathy can be so painful.

I used to offer so much hope, always full of faith. I used to believe that any pain could be turned into good. I used to see the beauty and potential all around us, waiting to be discovered. Now I feel the pain of a hurting world reflected in my own broken heart. For the first time, I see the world in its full depravity and all the heartache that it causes.

Death steals the ones we love. Friends we trusted betray us. Families and churches are divided. People are criticizes and judged for their differences. Good people try hard only to be trampled down. Young and innocent are abused with no defense. Wounds inflicted leave lifelong scars, beyond our power to overcome. Violence and crime, war and hatred abound on every side.

Where is the Kingdom of Heaven to be found on earth? Where do we see Your kingdom come and Your will being done, on earth as it is in Heaven? If Yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, shouldn’t we be seeing some of it here? The God I believe in is not impotent or indifferent. You would not have created this world with such care and wonder, only to leave it to crumble in its own devices. In a world where evil has such a stronghold, surly you must have a powerful resistance.

You said your kingdom was not of this world. Yet you came to tell us that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. So if your kingdom is “in the world but not of the world”, then two parallel universes must somehow overlap. “Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds.” I understand that it is there but I want to be able to see it again, this overlay of grace. To see pain overlaid by joy, hate overlaid by love, and sin overlaid by grace.

God, I ask you to open my eyes, to see your grace in the overlay.


 


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