Our culture is volatile. Just observe what often happens when a car accident occurs. In our present era of social media and its ability to take an unintended or accidental incident and have it “go viral” happens easily. Out come the cell phones. With social media, what might have been a simple local or social incident fifty years ago, can now incite a passionate global response. We were created by a passionate God to be passionate people. Jesus was. We often refer to His life, death, and resurrection as “the Passion of Christ.”
What happens when our passions are not understood and they incite a wrong response?
I am reminded as I drive my car of how often I have almost hit the car in front of me because it suddenly stopped, only for me to see eventually that something was in the way that I couldn’t see. Perhaps it was an animal running across the road or debris that was in the way. The only thing I could see was my coffee cup or purse go flying in my car as I came to an abrupt stop. And I confess… my verbal responses haven’t always been pleasant ones! Social and political issues most often happen when we aren’t present. And our screens only show one perspective and not the whole picture. Yet, because of our human passion, we respond with an instant reaction that can ignite others’ views like a wildfire causing unrest and destruction.
Passionate responses cause disruptions.
In Luke 12: 49 Jesus showed His human nature and having to live in our broken world. He was fully God and fully human, and He was passionate to save us. He knew He would be “baptized” in suffering and wishes He could just get on with it – be “kindled.” Yet God’s passion for us won’t let Him until all that needed to be fulfilled in prophecy was done. It required Jesus to wait and walk the walk and talk the talk and wait for God’s perfect timing. And, I might add, it wasn’t going to be easy. It required that He bring truth, and the truth is volatile. His passion would bring division. The truth of Jesus brought would pit one against the other – families would be divided because of their inability to see clearly who He was and God’s plan.
Our humanness limits our sight.
Jesus continually spoke clearly, but He had to also use stories and ask questions that brought clarity and understanding because the hard truth stopped people. His mission was to enlighten us on God’s plan for our redemption. God saw what had to be done from the inciting incident of sin in the Garden. He knew how to solve the problem because He’s God. Yet, from our blind perspective, we only saw the punishment and not God’s redemptive plan for us. Our car – freedom has been forced to stop, and our personal stuff is flying. For those who have allowed themselves to believe in the truth of Jesus and whose eyes have been opened, we see differently.
We don’t have to know “the why” because God saw the why.
Instead of confusion and fear when challenges happen, we’re able to relax in the uncertainty and it’s unnatural. We weren’t at the inciting incident of sin in the Garden of Eden. We don’t have to be. The Word of God is enough to trust that He’s got us. He sees us when we find ourselves suddenly stopped in our career or in life.
But we must choose.
We can remain calm, not become confused or frustrated when life’s disruptions happen, or choose the “peace that passes all understanding” Philippians 4:7. The difference? Confident peace. There’s a clarity and assurance that permeates our being, knowing that in the unknown and “the wait,” God’s perfect will is ideal, and His vision for us is best when we let Him control our gas petals.
Jesus went on in Luke 12:57-59 and challenged those who were listening to pay attention to the time they were living in. It was the most significant time that ever happened on Earth. He had come to save us. Today we even document time as before Christ (BC) and after Christ’s death (AD) because His life, death, and resurrection stopped the clock and restarted it.
The times we’re living in can change at light speed with unintended incidents – stops that could never happen but do. Yet, God never changes. His plans will be accomplished even if they, unfortunately, divide families and cause disruptions – fires. Jesus knew He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus was confident in what He had been called to Earth to do by His Father. He willingly and passionately completed His passion, even if it incited division and disruption.
Are you willing to trust God’s plan and perspective for your life even if causes a fire?