“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” -Genesis 1:3
How did I end up there? Sitting in an office on the other side of the world never even remotely crossed my mind, yet there I was. Sometimes I still can’t believe that it’s true, that I lived in Cambodia for two years, that I have worked with men coming out of the sex industry and they have become family to me, that we have a tour company that exists and helps provide these men employment. In what world am I qualified for this? In what realm of existence did I ever dream this possible? It is these facts that prove to me that I am not the one who did any of this, but that every good thing that has come out of my life has been the idea of a God who cares about the down trodden and broken hearted, who would send His Son to take away our sin and shame. He is the one who has made this all come to pass.
I struggle sometimes with people who refuse to see God, because I see Him all around me. He is so near to all that would seek Him, not distant as some would have you believe. Not hidden in cathedrals or bound to ancient walls, He is moving on the breeze, He is in the sunbeams that grace the skies. We need only to train our eyes to see Him. Many people would try to say that there can not be a good God because of all of the pain in the world, but I have seen some of the darkest scenes that one could ever contrive, I have been to hell on this earth and in those moments of absolute darkness, that is where the light and the beauty are all the more visible if you keep an eye open for them.
I have spent time in Cambodia with children as young as five years old who have been sold for sex and abused by the very people that should protect them and I can tell you that in the midst of that situation there is no light. Look back though, to the beginning, before God said “Let there be light.” it says in Genesis 1:2 “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Even in the darkness God is there and just as God spoke into the darkness and changed the atmosphere, the situations of those children are not permanent, there is hope for that girl or boy. The Creator God is not done with his work of creating, just because our imaginations have grown dull doesn’t mean that His has.
God has dreams for the children of Cambodia and all who find themselves in the darkness; He did not cause the evil in the world to exist, but evil is a choice that exists for all people in the world. All of humanity has the ability to choose between evil or good. In Erwin McManus’s book The Artisan Soul he speaks of all of us, being created in the image of the Creator and all of us having the ability to create or destroy. We are born with creative or destructive power and life is made of us choosing what we want to be. God is the ultimate example of the creative, look at the world and its complexities, or the beauty and mystery of the story of Christ and His death and resurrection.
The sacrificial love that Christ displayed on the cross was for all people, from all countries and all walks of life. His hand is not too short to reach the broken, and His love is not so shallow as bumper stickers may make it appear to be. His is a love that knows great sorrow and great pain, but more than that it is full of a deep hope and faith for things that some people may declare to unrealistic. As I read through the scriptures, I do not find a God who is bound by what my mind might deem realistic or unrealistic, I find a God who surpasses my understanding with His very being. I find a Love that is stronger than death, displayed by the resurrection of Christ. His love for us was so strong that even the grave couldn’t hold Him but He burst forth with freedom and hope for all people. I want to make a choice to live in the light, to walk in the hope and freedom given to me but God which is unshakeable. What will you choose?