Why Destruction Bothers Us, and Why It Ought To

A couple months ago, I drove past a commercial lot that was being cleared. Oak trees with huge, spreading limbs were being uprooted and knocked down by claws and trucks. I wasn't particularly attached to those trees. In fact, I'd never really noticed them. But as I watched this process of clearing out trees that had taken decades--maybe a century--to grow so mature, I wanted to cry. There was something fundamentally sad about it all.

I think as Christians, we have a tendency to resist acknowledging destruction and the sorrow it brings. Somehow, we feel as if confessing the reality of death-- of decay, of undoing-- shows a lack of faith. That if we were really good believers, we wouldn't feel so utterly weak sometimes from the weight of this world and its harsh realities.

But recently, I've been thinking about this tendency. I don't think it's Biblical. In fact, I think it's just the opposite. I want to challenge you to consider an alternative: that perhaps the very nature of destruction, and our deep desire for something more, actually points TO God rather than away from Him.

Life in the garden was different from life today. In God's initial plan, animals didn't eat each other, there was no breech of trust, and people didn't die. I have to believe this shows God's heart for our existence. He created us for something more, and deep in our blood, we desire that something.

What if despairing the state of the world doesn't show a resistance to God? What if it actually shows a desire for Him?

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Several months ago, I listened to a John Eldridge sermon where he challenged the audience to consider that the deepest dreams and desires of our hearts serve as reminders to us of our deeper calling. Like glimpses into Heaven, these moments of beauty remind us that there is more to this life than darkness and despair. There is something more to live for, and our calling is real. To tune in to these moments of honesty is to tune in to our calling.

So I want to encourage you. If you are facing a difficult time right now, do not be afraid to come clean with God about how frustrated you feel. God is not working against you. I would even go so far as to say He is every bit as upset about the state of His beautiful world as you are. Ask him to show you the beauty even in the destruction, and the power of His redemption.

I'm going to be talking more about these beautiful moments and how we can capture them with our writing over at The Writer's Alley tomorrow, so be sure to stop by. Until then, thanks for reading. :)

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