In the wake of the recent shootings plaguing our nation, there is no shortage of opinions on how to “fix” the problem. Some say it’s gun control, others claim it’s mental health, while others say it is a need for tighter security and so forth. While there is no simple solution, there IS a formula which leads to our nation’s healing and wholeness.
In the days of king Solomon, at the culmination of the building and dedication of his temple, God said, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Lord knows how desperately our land needs to be healed today, both metaphorically and literally. For increasingly we are seeing stories about violence, severe droughts, flash floods, ravaging hurricanes, powerful earthquakes, raging fires, and erupting volcanos. As Barry McGuire claimed in 1965, it seems we are on the Eve of Destruction.
While the stories in the news communicate a world growing ever dire, God has revealed his plan of redeeming the mess we are making. When God spoke to Solomon, the first step he mentioned for his nation’s recovery was to become humble. Today, in the era of selfies, insta, instant, and making things great again, the fundamental requisite for humility is needed more than ever. Far too many people walk around with a spirit of entitlement and haughty eyes. If we as a nation would only humble ourselves, we would make giant strides toward healing, but more than humility is needed.
We also need to pray. When we humble ourselves we are able to see situations are more massive, complex, and out of our control than we realize. Once this heart stage is reached, the healthy response is to pray, but more than prayer is needed.
We also need to seek God. While prayer should be a form of seeking God, when most people pray they speak, but do not seek. They make requests, but don’t ask, “God, where are you in this? God, what are you trying to say? What are you trying to tell me?” etc. In seeking God, it is important to remain humble and to pray continually, but more than seeking God is needed.
We also need to turn from our wicked ways. Since we all sin and fall short, we all have areas in our lives we need to turn from. Though those areas may not directly contribute to the issues being sensationalized by the media, they are negatively contributing to something. When we do our part and partner with God in the work he desires to do in our lives, we begin to see a beautiful change within us, and in time, within the social groups which we have influence. Thus, if we desire to bring healing and wholeness to our nation, we must follow God’s prescription. For if we do not have a humble heart, we will not pray, and if we do not pray, we are not seeking God, and if we are not seeking God, then we cannot turn from our wicked ways, and if we do not turn from our wicked ways, then what hope is there for our nation?
If there is to be hope for us, we must find answers to the following questions: Where do I need to grow in humility? What does my prayer life look like? How do I seek God? Do I take the time to seek him? To look and listen for him? What are the unhealthy areas of my life I need to turn away from? What work is God desiring to do within me during this season of my life? What spheres of influence do I have in my life and how can I bring hope, healing, and wholeness into them? Who are the people helping? Who are the ones doing it right?
Seeking Hope and Healing,
p.s. Mr Rogers’ response to violence in the media.
p.p.s. The way of the fool seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice (Proverbs 12:15).