Why care? In a world that believes might makes right, the amount of love given shouldn’t exceed the amount given back, and the foundation of our culture is selfish to it’s core, why would we bother trying?
Care is foundational because we were created for it and our obsession with self is contrary to the intentions of our Creator. We were created by a Trinitarian God who, in eternity past, in the present, and in the future, is love at his essence and in his character (1 Jn 4:16, Jn 17:5, Jas 1:17b). Since God is unchanging, each one of his actions is marked by love. It was out of God’s overflowing and overabundant love that he made all of creation (Gen 1-2, Jn 1-3). As the crowning point, we were made to display God’s glory and share in caring for the objects of his love and affection.
God Enters our Brokenness
However, we know this isn't happening as God intended. Once sin entered the world, it ushered in brokenness, separation, disunity, and everything contrary to God's love. God’s intentions remained, but his Creation was broken by sin. Broken by not knowing and not loving him. We do this through our doubt, discontentment, and disobedience. We also do this with one another; relationships are broken by lies, jealousy, anger, division, isolation, unfaithfulness, and so on. Sadly, the effects of sin do not end there. Our bodies are subject to disease, dysfunction, and death. Our souls are marred by shame, guilt, fear, anxiety, and sorrow. The effects of sin permeate and affect every aspect of what we were created for.
But the joy of the Gospel is that our good and loving Heavenly Father did not leave us, abandon us, or forsake us. He pursued and rescued us while we were still sinners, separated and against him (Eph 2:4-6). Our Father gave up his beloved Son, Jesus, in exchange for us as a ransom for our sin and through him we have new life (Isa 53:3-6, John 3:16). His transforming love brings redemption, restoring wholeness out of brokenness, and brings us back into relationship with him. Not content to leave it there, we were also gifted the indwelling, empowering, sealing presence of his Holy Spirit.
God Cares about our Brokenness
We are redeemed by the work of Jesus, but his work in us is not yet fully realized. Because of the ongoing effects of sin, we struggle to see God, ourselves, and others clearly for who he is and who we are. When we come to him, he is faithful to provide glimpses of clarity. When we see him clearly, we see the one who provides perfect love, care, and affection. We have his promise that he will meet us in our needs daily and comfort us in our pain, suffering, trauma, abuse, heartache, and loss. He drives out our fear and anxiety; he understands our depression and removes our guilt and shame. Our heavenly Father lovingly seeks for our trust to be upon him fully as our future hope.
In his great love for us, God continues to pour out his grace and mercy on us as we await the full consummation of the Kingdom (Rev 21). In the meantime, God ministers to us through his people. Care is foundational for the people of God because as we care for one another with the care we received from him, it deepens our faith and trust in him.
The overflowing love of God is made manifest in the community of God’s people (the church), exposing the darkness in each other’s lives, redeeming brokenness and restoring us back to God’s creational and relational intent for us. Beautifully, it doesn't end there. The care we’ve received overflows into the love for others, into our communities, into our discipleship, and into our evangelism.
God Will Heal All our Brokenness
We rejoice in knowing there will be a day we see ourselves and God clearly (1 Cor 13:12). God’s good reign and rule will, one day, be fully known and we will rejoice and delight in a joy and love that is currently inexpressible (1 Peter 1:8). This beautiful vision will not merely be a physical sight, but a full reality in physical bodies in a physical place, complete with knowledge and understanding. In the life to come, we will enjoy God perfectly as we relate and respond to him without sin. His love will rule perfectly in our hearts, our relationships will be motivated purely by love, and we will respond to God in perfect submission and obedience with God’s Holy Spirit for his glory and our great joy.
The care we desperately need and are able to give comes from our intimate relationship with God. May our care for one another be foundational, may it overflow with love, may it overflow with rejoicing of the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. May it be a light for hope and healing in our lives and those around us, and may it start in our midst.
God bless you all,