The One Thing

My heart is broken today as I observe the anger and destruction that has taken place all over our nation. As if one tragic death was not enough, we now have seen additional deaths, violent protests, looting, and destruction of many businesses and national monuments. It is hard to watch people resort to animalistic behavior while trying to solve human problems. One has to wonder: how did we get here? What can we do to fix this? 

Many bright people have spent years studying the issues of race, culture, and oppression, because they are not new problems. They have been talked about in government houses, lecture halls, and on news shows. Innumerable books have been written on the subject and many movies and documentaries produced. Has anything been accomplished? Watching the news this week, you would think we were starting over. It seems that nothing can be said that has not already been said, and what has been said just keeps being repeated over and over. Are these problems really too complex for us to solve? 

Finding solutions to complex problems just happens to be the job of my husband. He is an electrical engineer, and daily he pores over detailed drawings of electrical systems. These drawings represent the power systems of large hospitals. The working together of those systems is critical, especially when emergencies arise, and the hospital must rely on its backup power. My husband has often said that most problems he encounters on the job can be solved by returning to basic engineering principles, the ones that are fundamental to electricity and do not change.   

I submit to you today that what we see happening in America is not complex and is not without a solution.  The astounding truth is this—most Americans do not want the solution that works. The one thing that WILL work and will help humankind has been rejected over and over—God’s Holy Word. Sure, people quote the parts of the Bible that fit their line of thinking, but the fundamental teaching of the whole book they do not live by. This is why there is police brutality and chaos in the streets. This is why these scenes keep getting played over and over again. There – is – no – foundation. This lack of foundation has had a heavy price. People are confused, scared, and uncertain of what will happen tomorrow. That is what not having a foundation does to people.   

If we can’t agree on foundational truth, then we can’t agree on proper solutions. This is why Congress and our nation stay divided. There is strong disagreement as to what is right. Even the very way our leaders treat one another is so very far from how it should be. It is painful to try to watch congressional proceedings or talk shows and see the back and forth and the insults. Friends, how long will we live this way? How long will we ignore the one thing that will help us all? 

Jesus felt frustration over his own people’s unwillingness to see what He could do for them. In Matthew 23:37, He said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Jesus wanted something better for His people. He wanted to them to feel His love and compassion for them, but they would not.   

I have desired, so many times, that people would understand how wonderful it is to live under the wings of the Master. He gives such love, peace, wisdom, kindness, and suffers long with His people. Aren’t those the very things that America needs today? How united we could be if we would pray as the Psalmist did in Psalm 86:11, “Teach me thy way, O Lord; [we] will walk in thy truth: unite [our hearts] to fear thy name.” We do not need more experts, more strategies, more shouting, more chest thumping.  Rather, we need to become a humble people, sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to His Word for instruction. That is the one thing that is needed. It is then that our problems will take care of themselves.   

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