Today has been an emotional day for our country. We've been approaching this milestone and trying to anticipate all of the feelings that go along with remembering such a day. The innocent people who were taken, the families of those people who had to move on without them. All of the first responders who rushed in to do way more than their job called for. While we were all instantly defensive against any outside threat, we also instantly came together as a nation willing to protect our own and have each others' backs. It's difficult to summarize the day or its impact.
I think that our nationwide observance of those awful terrorist attacks is absolutely merited. Necessary, even, for our abilty to remember those who we lost. That day changed our country and changed the world. I am thankful for the soldiers who have defended our nation and allowed us to continue living in freedom. I will never forget.
I'm frustrated though, as I try to reconcile all of the feelings that I experience when I think about evil in the world. As much as I hate to admit it, growing up in the world has given my heart a worldly slant that seems easy to justify. I don't think I'm the only one, though. I've read so many facebook status posts; things like "I hope those terrorists burn in hell."... I admit, those thoughts have't escaped me, but that's where I find my conflict.
As humans we tend to want justice. We also, for some reason, tend to think that we always know the appropriate means to achieve that justice. In this case, it seems that because they did something terrible to us that we should, in turn, respond with something worse and wish for them the very worst thing that we can imagine.
Really, though? Not everyone I know claims to be a follower of Jesus, but many do. I, too, strive on a daily basis to have actions, words and thoughts that glorify Jesus because I want to be more like him. I fail daily, and miserably, but that doesn't mean I'm not trying.
A couple things have come to mind this week, and I can't help but read them in light of the attacks we endured. We are told that we will all stand in judgment one day and give an account for everything that we have done. That's a sobering thought because without the blood of Jesus to cover my sins, I'm in the same boat as any other sinner. I absolutely can't imagine wishing that anyone would burn in hell--be lost for eternity. Because if God should choose repay that sinner with eternal torment, then what could He choose to repay me with?
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. I Peter 3:9So, when I read these verses, I'm conflicted. God created each one of us, and He doesn't want anyone of us to perish. Imagine the pain he feels when one his own rejects him. So as his child, does it please him for me to react with retaliation and anger and hatred or with genuine sorrow? Sorrowful for the loss our country has exprienced, but also for the loss of a soul.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son the the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17
It's tough, but I'm trying hard to let my heart for Jesus speak louder in my mind that the lessons the world would have me learn.
Has anyone else struggled with any of these thoughts or is it just me? Am I headed the right direction, or am I way off base?