A few weeks ago, my friend took her sweet little Havanese pup to a socialization class. During class, a dog snapped at him, and he ran away whimpering. The sound of his whimper set off two pit bulls, who attacked him and did some serious damage (physically and emotionally too). After several stitches, an IV, and lots and lots of love, he’s recovering and doing well, but it has been a tough few weeks for them.
It’s been a tough few weeks here too. In my life and in the lives of others around me, I’ve seen quite a bit of pain and heartache. In some ways, I feel like my friend’s dog – under attack. I feel sad and powerless as I watch things large and feral rush in, teeth bared and bent on destruction.
And then, I remember.
It hits me like a wave, water pouring over the dry places. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly…. God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Powerless. There’s the word again – set in the past, not the present – and with it the reminder that all of these days are part of a bigger story.
Waves keep coming, washing over me, reminding me of truths I know deep down. “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
There is a lot of destruction in this world, yes. Any power I have on my own has limits. But I am not on my own. May I never be so overwhelmed by the wounds that destroy that I fail to remember the wounds of Christ that save, heal, empower.
A couple days ago, my friend and her pup headed back to the trainer for another socialization class (this time, with small dogs only). She’s a hoper, my friend. She remembers too. This big, beautiful story may have parts that will bring us to our knees in grief and pain and sadness, but destruction doesn’t have the last word.
——Ephesians 3:16-19: I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.