Sunday February 8, 2009
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23.
These must be some of the greatest words ever penned, as Jeremiah faced Jerusalem devastated by war and he gazed on the misery around him. Recent pictures of Gaza give some idea, but in Jerusalem then, the extent of the desolation and lack of any humanitarian aid, caused women to eat their babies. So Jeremiah’s words were ether great foolishness or great faith. You have to decide. It’s easy to have faith in the good times, but the faith of many will be tested in the current economic turmoil. Rage against God or rest in him: what is your response?
Our time here in England with a missionary organization has made us some great friends. Some of the folk working here face the most difficult circumstances. One family faces the eventual death of their two sons as a result of a genetic disease. The father has already given one kidney to lengthen one son’s life. Another wife is dealing with the deteriorating mental stability of her husband which is creating chaos in the home. Yet in both instances, their outward demeanour shows nothing of the agony within. Is their dependence on God faith or folly?
The impending surgery for my prostate cancer that Ann and I face pales in comparison to the horrendous challenges others face. Yet every setback in life raises the same question: Am I willing to trust God to take me through? Will it drive me away from God or draw me closer to him? For Jeremiah and countless others in Scripture and down through the centuries, there was no other recourse. The one who created and cares for us; who became human and died for us, can be the only ultimate resource for our ills. Every other course is a dead end and makes no sense. Where else can we go but to the one who has life and eternity in his hands?