Tag Archive | justice

Trusting in the Justice of God

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. I write for 5 minutes on a one-word prompt and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “just.” Check out all the other posts here.

I heard recently about a 2-year-old little girl who was just diagnosed with a form of ovarian cancer.

pink flowers

I have 3 friends currently battling breast cancer.

I have another friend who is at this moment awaiting results from blood tests to find out if her 22-year-old daughter’s mass is cancerous or not.

All I can do is pray, weep with them, and trust that Deuteronomy 32:4 is true: “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he” (New International Version).

Do those situations look just? Not to our eyes. But if we can’t trust the character of God, all is lost.

Theologian and author Nancy Guthrie knows a bit about the justice and goodness of God. In a podcast interview with Lina Abujamra, she talks about hope, and her perspective is that we live in a broken world, and bad things happen. But God. It’s not all about us.

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I’m about to head out to a weekend women’s retreat where we will be hearing via video from Sharon Hodde Miller about taking our eyes off ourselves. Her book “Free of Me” is a must read for anyone who thinks life’s not fair or that anything at all is about them.

That would be all of us, wouldn’t it? My marriage is not about me. My family is not about me. My calling is not about me. It’s all about God. I can choose to let my circumstances dictate how I see God, or I can let God be the filter for how I see my circumstances.

If I want any joy in this life, the latter is the better choice.

ALL His ways are just.

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With Liberty and Justice For All

Gavel-and-scales-of-justiceBy now, everyone has probably heard about a couple of things: the shooting by police of a black man in Louisiana and the escape from prosecution for one very privileged white woman who also happens to be running for President of the United States.

It appears that justice was not served in either case.

Granted, I wasn’t in on the FBI investigation, nor was I present when Alton Sterling was shot, but sometimes appearances aren’t deceiving.

From what FBI Director James Comey said, the evidence they found while investigating Hillary Clinton would be enough to warrant charges in many other cases. She was extremely careless and could very well have caused secrets to be discovered by foreign agents. Why they didn’t press charges against her is purely a matter of conjecture at this point. But it certainly looks like favoritism was shown. Had this been some underling, they would be gone. Where was the justice for America?

In the terrible case of Alton Sterling, it certainly appears that the police officers did not hold back. I understand split-second decisions have to be made. I understand when an officer tells you to do something, whether you think you’re in the right or not, you just have to do it lest something tragic happens. But I also understand that deadly force is something that should be handled very, very carefully. Where is the justice for Mr. Sterling?

The news this morning nearly brought me to despair. But I have been reading in the Psalms these days, and I am assured that God is still in control. “He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken” (Psalm 62:2). “Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than breath” (Psalm 62: 9). And verse 11: “Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God.”

Justice only comes when God is involved. The world will never satisfy our need for things to be right. It’s built into us because we are made in the image of God. Alton Sterling was made in the image of God. Hillary Clinton was made in the image of God. As are the members of the FBI, as is Attorney General Loretta Lynch, as are the Louisiana officers involved in the shooting. “. . . to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For you will render to a man according to his work” (v.12).

We won’t see it in our lifetime. Only God’s justice is pure. Anything we see on this earth will fall vastly short.

Praying for the Sterling family. Praying for the officers. Praying for Mrs. Clinton. Praying for America.

To Tell The Truth

Gavel-and-scales-of-justiceTwo years ago, I, along with thousands of others, found myself glued to the T.V. as I watched the drama of the Casey Anthony murder trial unfold in an Orange County, Fla., courtroom. I think it riveted me for a couple of reasons: the Anthony family lived just down the street from me, and it was about a mother supposedly murdering her child.

I admit, I did not presume her innocent. Whether or not she killed her child in cold blood, as the prosecutors suggested, or whether little Kaylee’s death was the result of some sort of negligence on the part of her mother, I don’t know, but I was appalled that the jury found her not guilty of some sort of hand in her daughter’s demise.

Now, the nation is once again focused on my little corner of the world. George Zimmerman is on trial in neighboring Seminole County for second degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin. I’m not riveted to this one: I’ve watched maybe a total of 15 minutes, and I haven’t formed any solid conclusions. Except for this one: No one, and I mean no one, except the Lord God Almighty, knows what’s in the heart of George Zimmerman, and what was in the heart of Trayvon Martin.

I’m very sorry Trayvon is dead. I think there were many, many things that should have been done differently. What I can’t abide in this case is the call for vigilante justice and the threat of riots if George is found not guilty.

Really? Why is the assumption that, because Zimmerman is “non-black” (seriously?) and ┬áMartin was black, Zimmerman automatically is racist and targeted Martin from the get-go?

And I’m not saying he didn’t. But I am saying that this is a no-win situation. Trayvon Martin certainly didn’t win anything; he’s dead. And George Zimmerman loses either way as well. If he’s found guilty, he goes to prison. That’s a big loss. If he’s found not guilty, he will never experience a day of peace in his life, because the media won’t let him. He’s guilty because he’s not black.

That’s how I read it, anyway.

But this is what I read also: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NIV)

Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, Stephanie Reeves.

We’re no different. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV).

Yet, I can say along with the apostle Paul, “Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24, 25a NET)

And on a daily basis, I need to do a heart check: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalms 139:23, 24 NASB).

Our justice system is imperfect, I think we can all agree on that. And none of our hearts are white as snow, unless they’ve been washed by the blood of Jesus.

Thank God I am not on trial on a daily basis for the deceitfulness of my heart. But, woe to me if I judge others too harshly. I don’t know what really happened to Kaylee Anthony, and I don’t know what happened on that street when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. But I do know this, as John Bradford did:┬áThere, but for the grace of God, go I.

photo from iraqinews.com

What Do You Know?

Several years ago, when Morgan was only about 4 or 5, her oldest brother went to a birthday party at a park. While they were there, the boys fished in the little lake for minnows. Justin caught one and put it in a little plastic bottle of water to bring home to show us. After showing it to me, he left it on the counter for Dad to see when he got home.

When David arrived, Justin went to get the bottle to show him his prize.

But where was the bottle?

What you need to know now is that young Morgan was in the habit of drinking from whatever cup or bottle she happened to see sitting around.

Morgan!

Sure enough, there in her room was the bottle. Apparently, she had drunk from it. Upon closer inspection, we saw that the fish was dead.

Eww.

Come to find out that the bottle had been full of the clean bottled water, and Justin had put the fish into it. The fish couldn’t survive in that environment, but at least Morgan hadn’t drunk the pond water.

I prayed for God’s mercy on a child’s foolishness, and watched for signs of some dread disease over the next several days. Thankfully, all was well.

My point is this: Sometimes we do things out of ignorance, not knowing that we’re hurting someone else or doing anything wrong. That doesn’t make us innocent, just as Morgan had no less drunk that water, but God’s mercy is great.

When I go clothes shopping or use my iPhone or watch something on TV, I don’t know all that has gone into getting that product into my hands. Has everyone been paid a fair wage for the work they’ve done to make that product? Has the CEO of the company been above board in his tax reporting or hiring practices? Are people anywhere at any time suffering so that I can watch my HDTV?

These are unanswered questions. I can’t follow the manufacturing trail for each and every product I use. Nor can I know the private lives of the executives of the companies from which I buy. I trust that God sees the suffering of the innocent. I don’t purposely buy or use things that have been brought to me by ill-gotten means. But there is evil in the world, and we have dedicated our lives to bringing the gospel into dark places. I just can’t know it all. In order to do that, I’d have to go back to the ways of my ancestors; living off the land I plow and plant, making my own clothes after weaving my own cloth after picking my own cotton. No electricity, no electronics, nothing that did not come by my own hand.

That just isn’t realistic in this day and age.

Pray for the persecuted. Bring the gospel to the lost. Listen to the voice and heart of God.

There is justice in the end. Now there’s something we can know.

Thankful today for:

249. mercy

250. 18 more days of school

251. knowing what’s for dinner

252. a playdate for my girl

253. a surprise in the mail from a friend

254. Facebook posts that make me laugh