Nolan pointed out to me (Amy) the other day that our world is getting worse, that people are making bad choices. He’s fearful of our future (and then my heart broke into a hundred little pieces). I took a minute to explain that generation after generation people have said the same thing, and that many worlds before us were far worse off. And then I reminded him that there is still much good in the world; much to be thankful for.
Well (and, cue that parenting moment when we realize we just taught our children exactly what we need a lesson in), that same week I went to a couple trainings with REST (Real Escape from Sex Trafficking. https://iwantrest.com/. Look it up) and I find myself losing hope just like him. There are so many victims in our world…too many.
Feeling overwhelmed that day, I remembered the verse that is tattooed on my heart and body, which says “be still and know that I am God”, and decided my other duties could wait while I asked God for some massive encouragement, and for His eyes on this.
I felt prompted to turn to Genesis 18 & 19… the story of Sodom and Gomorrah; it was just what I needed. It was just what He wanted me to see. I realized that a) our community isn’t so bad afterall (I mean, if you don’t remember the details, go and read it again. Yuck.) and b) God saved a few “good” people from that city because Abraham begged Him to. Because Abraham asked again and again.
The church so often looks at that story as a reminder that the sinners are so sinful, and we don’t want our cities or our people to be like that. The story is an excuse, to some, to point fingers (oh, the historical faults of the church!). But, what the story told me this morning is that God wants us to know that we can ask Him to be merciful. We can ask God to save, instead of condemn. We can call on His name to renew the people. We can, and will, tell God the names of the souls we are begging for. We will remind Him of those names again and again. What He does is up to Him, but I can tell you that He honors our prayers and our requests.
Gen 18 & 19 told me that I can ask God to save the high school kid who has every “at-risk” factor against him, but has a spark, a curiosity, a desire in his soul to be something more. He lives in his own Sodom and Gomorrah, but God can remove him and give him a new home.
I can ask for the life of the 3rd grade girl who shows all the signs of living in an abusive home, is “stuck” in most people’s standards, but is young enough to save from an even worse future.
I can ask for the beautiful many who are sitting in a refugee camp right now, separated from their families, not deserving the turmoil they are forced to live day-in and day-out.
I can ask for the forgotten, the molested, the trafficked, the you & me, the politician, the businessman, and all the others.
God hears the cries of the victims and wants to have mercy. He wants to save. That’s worth celebrating… and that’s worth acting on.
Oh, and by the way, the ones He saved from Sodom and Gomorrah? They went on to a new life – broken, sinful, and full of mistakes. The “good” ones and the saved ones have nothing to brag about, do they? Except to brag about the mercy of a faithful God! Today I hear Him say “be still, know that I am God, and keep going, my child.”
Yes, there is still good in the world!