18 Aug 2015
We live in unsettling times right now. And, like our ancestors going back thousands of years, we look to God to help us. But, the more we do that, the more it can seem like God is not with us. And we might ask the question we hear in the Book of Judges: “If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?”
We expect God to do something. We have the threats of ISIS and other terrorists. There’s corruption in our politics, diminishing life in the Church, the horrors of abortion, and an apparent loss of common sense in so many areas of life. And we want God to do something about this. But the problems remain. And, again, we might wonder: “If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?” Is the Lord with us?
But to that question, Jesus seems to counter with another question. He seems to ask: “Are we with the Lord?” He says: “For men, [much] is impossible; but for God all things are possible.” It isn’t so much about waiting for God to do what we want—even if we want is noble and good. Instead, it’s more about God waiting for us to help him. When we help do what God is doing, then the impossible can seem more doable.
In the face of great evil, I think of (among other things) World War II. An entire world at war, and yet everybody had some role to play in the war effort here in America. Whether it was Victory Gardens at home, serving in the military, rolling up bandages, sacrificing food and other goods through rationing . . . everybody did something to contribute to the larger fight against evil.
And as we face the evils of our time, the question isn’t “What can God do to help us.” Instead, it’s: “What can we do—what can I do—to help God in this fight against evil?” God’s work is the “larger fight against evil” we commit ourselves to. And in that larger work of God, we each have a role—some small, some large. Maybe your most powerful weapon is prayer. Or maybe God is asking you to take a public stance on some issue. Who knows . . .
But, whatever we do, may it be God’s work. God is always with us, fighting the good fight against evil. But he needs us to cooperate with him. He needs us to come to this altar of sacrifice and say, “What do you want me to do, Lord? How can I help you?” And, in the end, sacrificial love will win the day.