It’s not supposed to be this way
Have you ever sunk into a chair or curled up in bed at the end of a long day and thought to yourself, “It’s not supposed to be this way!”. Or maybe it’s every single time you see the news. You are exhausted and exasperated. You imagine a better world where love and kindness guide everyone’s actions, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. You can't imagine that a loving God would have created or allowed so much hate or pain.
Can I tell you something? He didn’t intend for it to be this way.
He lovingly crafted the world, giving special care to his creation, ensuring that it was good. He summoned warm sunshine, painted gorgeous flowers, and created baby elephants. He saw areas that were lacking and filled them so that there was harmony among His creation. In the beginning, the world was whole. It was beautiful. It was peaceful and perfect. And it will be again one day.
Hope from different sources
When I think of hope, most of the time my thoughts go to Jesus. In John 16:33 Jesus tells His disciples, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have trouble. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Jesus is our ultimate hope. He saves us from our brokenness and sin, and because of that, we have hope not only for eternity to come but now in our present days, too. I touched on that source of hope here when I wrote about the Kingdom of God being here now.
Many people ask, “Why would God create a world that needs saving? Why couldn’t He just make it where everyone got along, and bad things didn’t happen?". I believe it is because He loves us, and He wanted us to be able to choose to love Him back so He gave us free will. We as humans take advantage of that free will, and many times we make decisions based on what we want versus what’s best for the world around us, which is why we are where we are. Knowing that reality, I like to remind myself of the Garden of Eden.
The Garden of Eden offers a different perspective on hope. The Garden reminds us that God did not intend for the brokenness we experience. He intended for us to walk with Him in the cool of the morning and have beautifully intimate relationships. To enjoy lush fields and fresh fruit without thorns and thistles. Based on Revelation 21:1-5, I believe we will have that again one day -
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Living with the hope of the Garden
The image laid out in this scripture gives me goosebumps. How glorious will it be to dwell in the new heaven and new earth forever? It’s hard to comprehend, but it offers hope for our broken world. So what do we do with this hope?
I see two different options here; we can either mope that the world is broken and shake our fists at it, knowing one day justice will be served, or we can acknowledge the brokenness, allow our hearts to break, and step into God’s plan to do something about it.
Just because God didn’t intend for the world to be broken doesn’t mean He doesn’t have a plan. By living in tune with the Spirit, we will make decisions that positively affect more than just ourselves. We can love and serve people, protect God’s creation and grow intimate relationships. Little by little, we can recreate the Garden with what we have here until all is made new again, and through that, others will see and know God.
Why would we waste time moping over the brokenness when we have the hope of the Garden to spur us forward in fulfilling God’s plan for the world?