not optimistic. :)

Tragedy.  Suffering.  Pain.  Humanity taking the lives of others in their hand, and purposefully causing injury and death.  So many events just from the past week or so seem to be screaming out, “Where is Jesus as Lord?”  This is the world my daughters are growing up into.  The world in which my ability to keep them safe is drastically reduced every day they grow.

I’m a huge Detroit Redwings fan, and my entire hockey-watching life I’ve watched them head into the playoffs during this next week or so.  But this season has been a rough one.  Recently their head coach, Mike Babcock was interviewed.  They asked him if he was optimistic about his teams’ chance to make it into the playoffs.  His response: “I don’t know if it’s optimistic; I think it’s realistic,”

I wish I shared his realism.  But I’ll definitely be optimistic, even as I begin growing my playoff beard. (Just in case we need it early.)

But his vantage point reminds me of God’s view, as he looks out over our world that is so filled with uncertainty and suffering.  In Matthew chapter 13, Jesus tells a parable that offers us insight into the situation our world is in today:

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.” 13:24-29

For an explanation of the parable, skip to verse 36.  But it seems that even when God looks out on our world that has so many spillwayweeds growing, He sees more than these.  He sees the beauty of what is growing through the children of the Kingdom.  Growth that, between telling the parable and explaining it, Jesus connects to a small amount of yeast working its way through the entire dough.  Or a small mustard seed growing into a large, strong tree that provides shelter.

It’s important for us to remember as we look out on our world this week.  As we look for ways to honestly look into our childrens’ eyes and say “Yes, even in the midst of all of these weeds growing, Jesus is Lord.”  Help your children to identify the places where Kingdom is growing.  Find ways for the Kingdom to arrive in and through your family.  Wonder what that can look like, practically?  Check out the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23.  Spend a day focusing on each one with your children, and as you participate in Kingdom growing – know that as Jesus delays coming to complete what He began by becoming Lord – it’s not because He’s optimistic – He’s realistic.  There is so much in our world that’s worth giving the chance to continue growing…

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