Mosquitoes. Thistles. Toxic mold. The Black Plague. Earthquakes and hurricanes. Nature, red in tooth and claw. Ah, life and death on a fallen planet. Why is this world such a mess?
Scripture tells us that all creation groans under the curses pronounced in the third chapter of Genesis (see Romans 8:18-23). After Adam and Eve sinned, everything started falling apart, literally. Not only do we homo sapiens suffer, but every living creature, the planet itself and the entire universe are chained under the curse of entropy and decay, eagerly waiting to be released.
It’s heart-lifting to remember that the situation is temporary. All will be restored beyond imagining. The imagining is important, by the way. The very fact that we can picture in our heads a perfect world without pain, trauma, death or decay, assures us that such a world did once exist, and surely will again.
It’s even more exciting if you think how limited our human imaginations must be compared with the creative power of Yahweh. The best we can envision won’t remotely approach the glorious reality. Read Revelation chapters 21 and 22 about the new heavens and the new earth, and be prepared to just about melt into a puddle of anticipation.
But meanwhile, entropy rules. Riots and rot, diseases and disasters make life on Earth complicated, dangerous and exhausting. Every day is a struggle to some degree. The curse lies heavy on our world. The trembling planet and out of whack weather system wreak havoc somewhere every single day. Too many cosmic rays get through and steadily degrade our DNA…and cancers abound. And should the solar system and our planet calm down and not cause any trouble at all, there are still our fellow human beings to reckon with.
Truly, as Robert Burns famously said, “Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn! “ Our vicious cruelty to each other causes more misery every hour than the worst tsunami or most disastrous accident. It’s bad enough in our one-on-one encounters—our nasty attitudes, our sick rage, but let one group of people take it into their heads to abuse another group, and they can create large-scale hell on earth. Those of us who stand by and don’t object add to the hellishness.
What to do?
Jesus tells us clearly what to do until He returns to set everything right. Love one another. Bear one another’s burdens. Give those cups of cold water wherever they are needed. Pray without ceasing. “…Be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5.
The most important task we are to keep on doing is this: tell people what’s really going on. Tell them God made everything perfect and we messed it up. Tell them God became one of us and let us kill Jesus to make it possible for us to be reconciled to Him. Beg them to understand this, grab it for their own with both hands, fall at Jesus’ feet and let Him make them into new creatures. Then tell them to get up and tell someone else what’s really going on.
Sisters, let's keep at it until we hear those trumpets calling.