When the pin fell out of the plow and my efforts at snow removal came to a standstill. In the scheme of things, it was not even an issue, but at the moment, , it was a BIG deal to me. I kicked the blade in frustration (yes, I only succeeded in hurting my cold toes) and I muttered about life and aggravation. Later, in the house, warming up with a cup of coffee I laughed at myself. The driveway got cleared with some effort and the plow got fixed. Unlike my plow breakdown, there are real problems and terrible pain that make me equally angry and sad. Those stories I read about women being trafficked in sexual slavery break my heart. Hatred that festers in our land makes me feel real despair. Talking to those who wrestle with chronic illness rips open my heart.
Life can be depressing. Most of are at some risk of injury or death every day. How? Just getting into our car and driving to work is risky. Across these United States about 100 people die daily in traffic accidents and thousands more are injured. Life altering anomalies are ticking away inside of many of our bodies at this moment. Yes, we know that pressure is building on fault lines deep beneath the earth’s crust and when those plates shift, earthquakes will wipe out towns. Should I keep going?
Life is unpredictable. No matter how much we prepare, regardless of just how much caution we exercise, danger remains with us. My faith in Jesus Christ is my SOLID ROCK of hope in the middle of all these messes. He does not promise that because I belong to Him I can expect that only good things will happen to me or to my family. Sadly the ‘faith’ of many believers wrecks when their superstition runs into reality. What I do know (and you can, too) is that my hand is held by the Father. He knows how to guide me through or even around the challenges that are ahead of me on my road.
The cynic of the Scripture, the writer of Ecclesiastes, puts to words what many people think. “It’s all emptiness,” he moans. “Why get up in the morning? You work hard then you die and somebody else spends your fortune! You think that keeping the rules and being good will get you ahead in life and then the crook drives up in his Tesla, wearing diamonds.” – Eccl. 6:12, 8:14 (not exactly his words, but a loose paraphrase) Is Solomon right in his feelings of despair? We have to read the whole essay! After pointing out the vanity of a life without God, he sums up the best way to live in a world full of uncertainty, in circumstances that can produce hopelessness. “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, NIV)
The Gospel of Christ works for us NOW because of the promises assured for THEN. Scripture reminds us that what we experience NOW, isn’t the last work in the matters of life. “… in life and in death, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose, so that he might be Lord of those who are alive and of those who have died. … Remember, each of us will stand personally before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow to me and every tongue will confess allegiance to God.’ Yes, each of us will have to give a personal account to God.” (Romans 14:8-12, NLT)
Trouble comes one day, success another! But, the person who walks with God remains faithful through it all because her goal and purpose isn’t just to make it through the day. Rather, she purposes to please the Eternal Father, to patiently endure the trials and to keep her head in success, knowing that when the game is over, the real life for which God created her will have just begun. Set your hope in eternity. Live joyfully, confidently, faithfully, fearlessly!
Here is a word from the Word. Believe it. Live it. “So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion. It won’t be long now, he’s on the way; he’ll show up most any minute. But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust; if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy. But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.” (Hebrews 10:35-39, The Message)
“When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
bright shining as the sun;
We’ve no less days,
to sing His praise,
than when we first begun!” – John Newton