Four miles away from me in the metro-Atlanta area a protest occurred two nights ago at a place I frequent. Several people very dear to me live in that exact area. A police man that we care about was on call to respond if needed.
George Floyd. The 10 minute horrific video. Protests. Riots. All of this in the same month as we try to process the heinous murder of Ahmaud Arbery. All of that as we deal with a pandemic. Quarantine. Social distancing. The world turned upside down.
Normally I avoid the news. Last week I was glued. Being a white person growing up around family and friends who all have a strong trust in the police, I needed to watch the 10 minute video. I needed to witness the brutality and heartlessness a white police officer displayed both towards George Floyd but also towards those frantic bystanders who were begging for his life. Then the protests and riots started, spreading with an intensity much greater than the coronavirus.
Sunday morning I entered my predominantly white church in the suburbs with a heavy heart from the week’s events. I wondered if the injustice of the week would be acknowledged. And for the first time that I can ever recall this type of incident was directly addressed from a pulpit of a church I was a member of, called out as wrong, and prayer was offered. Additionally, earlier this week in an online post, a well known conference speaker (in my circle), Paul David Tripp, urged churches to speak out for justice. Praise God!
For those outside this circle, it might seem like too little too late. The dam has burst. The emotions bottled up for too long are finally being released all across the nation. Destruction has arrived.
But I ask us not to give up. Any of us. White. Black. Any of us. If we are God’s children, God is growing us all. Some of us are learning that the world might not be as just as we thought it was. Some of us are learning to listen. Some of us are learning to have compassion. Some of us are learning to have courage and speak up. Some of us are learning not to judge when a person doesn’t speak up. Some of us are learning patience. Some of us are learning not to take revenge. Some of us are learning to wait on God. Some of us are learning perseverance. Some of us are learning to trust God instead of despair.
God is doing something in all this chaos and injustice. Following the great chapter in the Bible that lists so many heroes of the faith, God says in Hebrews 12:1-3 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Please find strength to keep doing that next right thing that glorifies God. Keep going. Don’t stop. We are in a race. And we have NOT yet reached the finish line. Christ endured all the way to the cross for you and me to have the opportunity to repent and be reconciled to God. If you have repented and believed in Jesus, God is with you! You can do this!
We must look with eyes of faith today. Every day. But especially today. Our faith is being sorely tested. African Americans and White Americans. Don’t lose heart. Keep going. Don’t stop! Have faith! God is still on His throne. Each of His children must faithfully run the race with endurance. KEEP GOING! Each morning get up and KEEP GOING! All you have to run is TODAY. Just today. KEEP GOING! DON’T STOP!