As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
(Psalm 42:1-2 ESV)
I’ve grown so weary of bad news. Day after day thousands of news outlets pour all their efforts into reporting tragic happenings; from images of flag-draped caskets to flooded streets and water rescues. Video footage from drought stricken countries, war-torn nations, community violence, and school shootings have become commonplace and we’re barely even moved by the reports. It seems as if it never ends and certainly never gets better…especially if you’re a pastor.
Pastors often hear the worst things. In counseling sessions, people pour out their hearts. I will say this, nothing surprises me any more…nothing. In nearly 25 years of pastoral ministry, I’ve learned that people endure horrendous and tumultuous events; and many on a regular basis. I hear of financial failure, ruined relationships, bizarre addictions, and the list goes on… It never ceases.
Then there’s the video I saw today, of the little boy in Syria whose home was destroyed by a bomb. He sits in the back of an ambulance, dirty, disoriented, and wiping blood off his forehead. It was such a sad and sickening sight.
Sin is everywhere, and like a snail that leaves a slimy trial, or a tornado that leaves utter destruction in its path, sin devastates. I’m sick of the result of sin. I’m sick of it in my life, the life of my family, the life of the people I shepherd, and it’s far reaching effect throughout the whole of humanity. In one sense, sin is the mother of disaster; where sin abounds, disaster thrives. I am simply tired of it all. The more suffering I see, the more I can be identified with Romans 8:19…
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
In other words, I long to see Jesus. I long for the day when creation will be restored. I long for the day that is described in the book of Revelation,
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
(Revelation 21:4 ESV)
Sure, there’s a lot I want to do, a lot of gospel I want to preach, but the more I see this world, the more I want to see Jesus. David felt the same many years ago when he wrote,
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
(Psalm 63:1, ESV)
A “dry and weary land” gives you great thirst. For those who are alive in Christ, he is consistently and perfectly creating a disdain in us for the things of this world and ever increasing our desire for him, to be realized ultimately in his presence. Come Lord Jesus…