I’m overwhelmed with sorrow!
sunk in a swamp of despair!
I’m like someone who goes to the garden to pick cabbages and carrots and corn
and returns empty-handed,
finds nothing for soup or sandwich or salad.
There’s not a decent person in sight.
Right-living humans are extinct.
They’re all out for one another’s blood,
animals preying on each other.
They’ve all become experts in evil.
Corrupt leaders demand bribes.
The powerful rich make sure they get what they want.
The best and brightest are thistles.
The top of the line is crabgrass.
But no longer: It’s exam time.
Look at them slinking away in disgrace!
Don’t trust your neighbor, don’t confide in your friend.
Watch your words, even with your spouse.
Neighborhoods and families are falling to pieces.
The closer they are—sons, daughters, in-laws—
The worse they can be.
Your own family is the enemy.
But me, I’m not giving up.
I’m sticking around to see what God will do.
I’m waiting for God to make things right.
I’m counting on God to listen to me.
Although this was written hundreds of years before Jesus was born, it reads like today’s news. When I first moved to Vancouver from Montana, I was struck by the news at night. One channel from Portland had an hour program and the first 30-40 minutes were devoted to listing the robberies, rapes, murders, etc. They would tell what neighborhoods the crimes happened in and being new to the area, I would wonder if that was anywhere near me. My husband was still in Montana and I was here with our son for several months before Bruce could join us. These news stories put fear in me. So I just stopped watching. If the world was falling apart all around me, I’d just as soon not know about it. Have I mentioned before that I am quite fond of denial?
I can’t keep myself from seeing and hearing about the evil things taking place in our world. I am surrounded by it and it is my duty, I think as a Christian, to be light in that darkness. I can’t do that if I pull the covers over my head and think it isn’t happening.
Whatever the events that are bringing fear into your life, into my life, God isn’t ignoring them or us. He hasn’t pulled the covers over His head and chosen to live in denial. He will make things right, in His time.
There is a “but” in this verse; a turning point in the prophet’s news report. He claims he is not giving up, he is going to stick around to see what God will do. That strikes me as a good plan. Wait and see the deliverance God will bring. We don’t have to live in fear, no matter the news, no matter the diagnosis, no matter the destruction that is around us. Our God hears our prayers and we can count on that.
Heavenly Father, the news is often scary, the diagnosis is overwhelming and fear rises in me at times. I know I don’t need to fear, but sometimes, I forget that. Would You remind me to fear not? Would You help me to wait in faith to see what only You can do? I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
I would love to hear from you. Please let me know if I can be praying for you as well.
pic credit: aspenpublicradio.org