Today has been one of those days. I woke up exhausted, and late. I’ve been dealing with an annoying bit of physical pain today as well. And, along with many others, I’ve been struggling with how to respond as a follower of Christ to the news of the death of Bin Laden. While trying to work through these mixed emotions, and after a brief conversation with my pastor, I’ve realized several things, and God has really revealed a few things that I hadn’t thought about before.
First, as evil as Bin Laden was, he was still a human being. He still was made in the image of God, and God still loved him. God did not love the evil he did, and I believe God is grieving the eternal separation. A soul is a soul, and whether a person is the worst person imaginable or the biggest saint ever, if we choose to ignore Christ’s sacrifice, the result is the same-eternal separation.
John 3:16 says “For God so loved the WORLD…” (emphasis mine). It does not say that God so loved every person who is pretty good. The world means everyone. God’s love knows no boundaries; we simply choose whether to accept it or not.
Another thing God showed me is that He was God on that awful day ten years ago (9-11), He is God today, and He will be God forever. He has never left us. He has never stopped working. No matter what happened or what will happen, God is in control.
One final thing God showed me today: I am no less a sinner than Bin Laden. Christ died for me as well as him. I chose to accept that incredible gift, and I am so thankful that I don’t get what I deserve.
Tenth Avenue North has a song that I think describes my mixed emotions well. It’s called “Times”.
I know I need You
I need to love You
I love to see You, but it’s been so long
I long to feel You
I feel this need for You
And I need to hear You, is that so wrong?
Now You pull me near You
When we’re close, I fear You
Still I’m afraid to tell You all that I’ve done
Are You done forgiving?
Oh can You look past my pretending?
Lord, I’m so tired of defending, what I’ve become
What have I become?
I hear You say,
“My love is over. It’s underneath.
It’s inside. It’s in between.
The times you doubt Me, when you can’t feel.
The times that you question, ‘Is this for real?’
The times you’re broken.
The times that you mend.
The times that you hate Me, and the times that you bend.
Well, my love is over, it’s underneath.
It’s inside, it’s in between.
These times you’re healing, and when your heart breaks.
The times that you feel like you’re falling from grace.
The times you’re hurting.
The times that you heal.
The times you go hungry, and are tempted to steal.
The times of confusion, in chaos and pain.
I’m there in your sorrow, under the weight of your shame.
I’m there through your heartache.
I’m there in the storm.
My love I will keep you, by My pow’r alone.
I don’t care where you fall, where you have been.
I’ll never forsake you, My love never ends.
It never ends.