Posted: 10/6/17 at 2:30pm. by Ed Jordan.
How have the events of two hurricanes and the Las Vegas attack affected you? I think most of us are reeling from those devastations and feeling sorrowful for those who experienced them firsthand. On the upside, those impacted by the hurricanes, the people of Las Vegas, and many of the people at the concert were amazing in assisting one another. This is one of our finer qualities as humans.
On the downside, the trauma of undergoing such an ordeal is not something you can shut out of your mind. It is something that initially creates a disconnect between mind and emotions, since shock acts as a buffer to deaden some of the raw emotions we are experiencing. Working through it takes time.
In my daily reflections, I was reading Jeremiah chapter 8. Jeremiah lived in a time when his people were experiencing bad times, and it was about to get worse. The people had for many years closed God out of their lives and now their lives were falling apart, and they couldn’t understand the reason. People were religious, but they felt disconnected from their own God. They were trying all kinds of new pursuits in an effort to experience God, not realizing that God had already given them a proven way to reconnect with him.
Jeremiah, like many spiritual leaders today, loved the people he was called to serve. But whenever he explained how to experience spiritual healing, they mocked him. They called him a proclaimer of doom. They nicknamed him “terror on every side.” They wanted spiritual healing but were unwilling to turn to the one God who could actually heal them. They were like children who ignored time-proven ways in order to do their own searching and to experience the pain of making many poor choices.
Jeremiah kept sharing the reality of God with his people, even though they thought they knew better (Jeremiah 7:27). Phony, superficial spirituality promised peace and healing but only brought them pain and brokenness (Jeremiah 8:10-11). In Jeremiah 8:15 (NLT) we read: “We hoped for peace, but no peace came. We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.” Why? Maybe because they sought peace instead of seeking the God who is peace, or maybe because they sought healing instead of God, the ultimate healer.
Have you ever been overcome with emotions, when you began to speak, and the tears and sobs just flowed out? Listen to Jeremiah’s heart in Jeremiah 8:21–22 (The Message): “For my dear broken people, I’m heartbroken. I weep, seized by grief. Are there no healing ointments in Gilead? Isn’t there a doctor in the house? So why can’t something be done to heal and save my dear, dear people?”
Think about the following questions as they relate to what is happening in our world, country, neighborhoods, churches, families, or in ourselves. God has made himself available to each of us through Jesus Christ; he is as near as a thought or a prayer. Consider giving some deep thought to answering these questions over the coming weeks. Perhaps write them out and then journal your answers to each.
From where is the pain, hurt, or destructiveness originating in our culture? In the workplace? In my family? Where does my pain and brokenness start? What contributes to further brokenness? What part of my life is broken? How did I get broken? How can I experience healing? Who can put all the broken pieces of my life back together again? What should my healed life look like?
If God is real and near, why is it so hard to experience his peace? What could I do to reconnect with God? Is seeking healing and restoration found by gathering more information? Or do I need to encounter the designer and engineer of my life to optimally function?
What if healing, peace, and restoration really are found in Jesus? What if the God, peace, healing, and wholeness that I am seeking is actually to be found living among the very people that I have declared weird, judgmental, or non-sequitur and irrelevant to my life? When I accuse others of being judgmental, am I not also being judgmental?
In this time of upheaval, I encourage you to move towards God and an encounter with him. In reconnecting with God, we can begin to experience and encourage the healing process.