Recently though I was unable to shield my eyes from a horrific example of innocence shattered at the hands of depraved man. And I ask why. Not a feeble, generic why tossed out to the universe. But a very specific why directed into a loving Parent's perfect, infinite, compassionate ears. Where were you God, are your eyes blind, your ears deaf, why? And graciously he provides an answer, maybe not the one I want but one that satisfies:
Isaiah 65:17 "Behold, I will create
new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever
in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
and its people a joy.
The things that make up our lives daily; the sin, disappointment, pain, the curse will never again be remembered, they won't even come to mind! Is that because our hearts will be so consumed with him there won't be room for anything else or because the healing will be so complete or both?
Maybe you've felt the way I do right now for even more personal reasons than mine. Have you cried yourself to sleep for the shear ache of loneliness, maybe never having had arms to hold you, maybe with a spouse laying beside you in the dark? Have you held the hand of a loved one as they slip away from your arms to the arms of eternity? Have you ever wept over the shame of your own failings? Have you suffered the trespass of your vulnerability at the hand of cruelty or betrayal? Then this answer is for you too:
19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem
and take delight in my people;
the sound of weeping and of crying
will be heard in it no more.
20 "Never again will there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not live out his years;
I don't often ask why. I've tasted so deeply of God's goodness and come to know my satisfaction is in him. My faith has been fed deeply on his rich kindness, like mother's milk to a growing infant. Then I stumble and trip over the disparity of what I've heard of God, the character I lean upon and the report of what looks like his absence in the affairs of man. Where is he when the helpless cry out, the needy suffer, the innocent are victimized? The only thing I can cling to and understand is that the good of our eternal future so outshines the pain of this world that it is worth it. I must, I will cling to the belief that God gathers up the shattered into his powerful, healing arms and death truly is swallowed up in victory. And one day, one sweet day...
24 Before they call I will answer;
while they are still speaking I will hear.
and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
but dust will be the serpent's food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,"
says the LORD.
66:13 As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."