Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. Psalm 37:7-11 (ESV)
Heavenly Father, this week in Christchurch, New Zealand, we witnessed another day of terror-making darkness, evil-doing madness, and life-taking sadness. How long, O Lord, how Lord before you “cut off” every expression of evil? How long before “the wicked will be no more”?
How much longer is “just a little while“? It’s hard not to fret. When will racism and ethnic-idolatry die 1000 deaths? It’s hard not to feel fearful and angry when worship gatherings become the venue for the horrifying murder of your image bearers.
Father, we pray, not in self-righteous judgment, but as your weary children, longing for the Day when perfect peace will replace systemic darkness; when the wolf and lamb will live together (Isa. 9:6); when guns and knives will become tools for agriculture and harvest (Isa. 2:1-5).
Until that Day, Father, free us from cynicism and a thirst for revenge. Make us warriors of peace and agents of hope. Replace our frets and fears with faith and trust. Our labors in the Lord are never in vain. Jesus defeated evil on the cross, and he will eradicate all evil at his return. Hasten that Day, Lord.
Until then, grant us wisdom to know what loving mercy, doing justice, and walking humbly with you looks like, wherever we live. We pray for the scores of families directly impacted by this horror in Christchurch. We pray for healthcare workers and counselors, believers and neighbors who will show up to love well. Grant them your compassion and grace. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ triumphant and grace-full name.