“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).

LIFE IN A BROKEN WORLD EXACTS A PAINFUL TOLL ON US EMOTIONALLY. We long to feel whole, but we feel torn apart. We desire integrity and oneness of mind and character, but we are pulled in many different directions. Outward conflict is never very far away, and the consequences of sin are such that we have to labor night and day to keep from disintegrating inwardly. The outward turmoil is terrible enough, but it is the lack of inward peace that hurts us most. And the Germans have a word that describes this inner strife or brokenness that we’re so familiar with these days. It is the word Zerrissenheit, which literally means “broken-to-pieces-hood.” It would be hard to find a better word for the state of our minds in the present generation.

If they could speak to us now, however, Adam and Eve would probably say that the “broken-to-pieces-hood” we feel today is not very different from what they felt. In Eden, they had enjoyed an environment where everything they ever had to deal with fit together in perfect harmony. Outside of Eden, however, they would have experienced the very same thing we do: the sickening uncertainty of trying to get from one day to the next in a world that is breaking apart. In fact, never having known Eden, we have less basis for comparison than they did. If we think that life feels “out of joint” today, how “disconnected” must they have felt standing outside the gates of the garden — with a flaming sword guarding the way back to the tree of life.

But what about God? Is He unconcerned about all that we suffer as a result of having ruined our world and our relationship with Him? The wonderful truth is that He is not only concerned; He is compassionately concerned. He knows that we are “weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” At a cost that we cannot count, He has made it possible for us to seek Him, find Him, and find in Him every bit of the wholeness we have lost.

Drop thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of thy peace.
(John Greenleaf Whittier)

Gary Henry – WordPoints.com

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