Thursday in Minneapolis it was so gorgeous walking home I thought: I should write a post on how astonishing it is that no earthquake swallowed up this city today.
Instead God sent warmth and crystal skies and cool breezes and golden leaves and hanging sea gulls over Elliot Park.
Amazing. Absolutely amazing!
We deserved the 52-story IDS tower to fall, and bridges to collapse, and poisonous gas to kill thousands. But instead God gave us over-the-top foretastes of heaven.
This is why everyone is crying out, Where was God on Thursday! Where were you God! How could you do this? Why did you let this happen?
Everybody is saying that, aren’t they?
As Mark quoted Malachi:
“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap."
Or as Amos said,
"Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why would you have the day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light, as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall, and a serpent bit him."
The answer, as always, is Jesus. How could God possibly have not struck us down in Beeston today? How was Birmingham still standing when I returned to it? How could I sit and read The Hobbit to my housemate without the breath choking in my throat under the judgement of God for the ways in which I have despised Him today? We see the answer in the cross of Jesus Christ:
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. ...
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.