We have some dear friends who have experienced extraordinary tragedy in their lives; sorrow which I myself - having lost two babies as well as my own father - have not even come close to experiencing. Thinking about the weight of sin, death, evil, and God's glory, I wanted to skip my Revelation post today and simply pastorally remember the sovereignty of God, even in the midst of unspeakable tragedy.
"Though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love. . . . Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?"
Come rest your head and nestle gently
And do not fear the dark of night.
Almighty God keeps watch intently,
And guards your life with all his might.
Doubt not his love, nor power to keep,
He never fails, nor does he sleep.
"I believe, like a child, that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world's finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, of all the blood that they've shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened."
-The atheist Ivan Karamazov, from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
"His fine-toned heart, like the harp of the winds,
Answers in sweetness each breeze that sings;
And the storm of grief, and the breath of joy,
Draw nothing but music from its strings."
May our prayers tonight be with the brokenhearted, with the orphan, with they who weep with the deepest sorrows they will ever know in this life. Our prayer will be that God's glory would shine brightest through the dawn which follows the darkest night. Glorify Yourself, O Lord, that You might be our greatest treasure and our all in all.