There is a quote I came across a long time ago from Julian of Norwich (1342-1416) that has provided me much comfort. Julian was an anchoress and prayed fervently, isolated in her cell, for three things: a deeper understanding of the Passion of Christ, a sickness unto death but without actually dying at a young age so that she might live her life more mindfully before God, and what she called the "three wounds" - absolute contrition, kind compassion, and steadfast longing toward God. Her prayer seemed to be answered when she became seriously ill. All around her expected her death. Julian also believed she was dying and last rites are administered.
But then Julian, in the depths of her illness, received fifteen “shewings,” or revelations. She later said that heaven opened to her, she saw Christ in His glory, and she saw the meaning and power of his sufferings.
In her thirteenth shewing, Julian receives a comforting answer to a question that has long troubled her:
“In my folly, before this time I often wondered why, by the great foreseeing wisdom of God, the onset of sin was not prevented: for then, I thought, all should have been well. This impulse [of thought] was much to be avoided, but nevertheless I mourned and sorrowed because of it, without reason and discretion.
“But Jesus, who in this vision informed me of all that is needed by me, answered with these words and said: ‘It was necessary that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.'
“These words were said most tenderly, showing no manner of blame to me nor to any who shall be saved.”
Simply, Julian sees that all things will be put right by Christ. When my sins and my sin nature and that of others overwhelm me, when I despair of the future of this world, when it seems evil abounds, I will remind myself (and sometimes others) that God is indeed on His Throne, that my little bit of life is part of a much grander Story, and that Jesus will be returning to set all things right in this world and with His People.
All shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well. Until then I think praying for true repentance, a deep compassion for others, and a steadfast love for God are pretty good ideas.
Blessings, Bloggy Friends.