We just got back from an awesome week of ministry at a family camp in Michigan. I was leading worship and speaking for the family campers, as well as offering staff devotions each day for the camp. During our free time in between, we were blessed to hang out at the beach, catch up with old friends, and make new friends along the way.
While we were there, I continued to get updates on my phone about the sad state of world affairs, especially everything that has been going on in Afghanistan. Such tragic news from unthinkable circumstances. My heart is still broken for the countless lives that have been deeply impacted by all that has happened in the last couple of weeks. My mind is still struggling to comprehend all that has transpired and is still going on.
Meanwhile… we were playing at the beach… and preaching the gospel… and praising God through song… and, of course, praying for our troops, for the Afghan people, for our leaders, and for our enemies.
As we settle back in at home for a couple of days before heading back out on the road to a camp in Wisconsin, where I will be leading worship and preaching at another family camp, I find myself simply being amazed by the final verse of Second Chronicles.
As a family, we have been reading through the entire Bible in one year through the ReadScripture App. For whatever reason, the makers of the App have chosen to put Second Chronicles at the very end of their Old Testament reading. While we were in Michigan, and receiving all of these notifications, we also finished the Old Testament and moved on to the New Testament.
So with everything going on fresh in my mind, we read this from Second Chronicles:
Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the LORD his God be with him. Let him go up.’2 Chronicles 36:23, ESV
It is a truly awesome thing to be able to sit back in the midst of chaos (or comfort) and simply realize and rest in the fact that God is truly in control. He is going to have His way. His plans, ultimately, cannot be thwarted.
Even though the Kings of Judah had turned so far from God and towards wickedness, to the point where they were completely defeated and carried off into exile, God put it on the heart of the pagan King of Persia to build a house for the LORD in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
God was going to have His way, and not even a pagan leader could stop Him. In fact, God used the pagan leader to bring His plans about.
Friends, it is right for our hearts to be broken over broken things in this world. It is right for us to play and laugh and enjoy the abundant life that Jesus purchased for us on the cross. It is right for us to commit ourselves to advancing the gospel and to praising God. And we can do all of these things whether in chaos or comfort, because God is ultimately going to have His way on this earth.
The only question is: will we willingly, joyfully, join Him in what He is doing?