There was a time when I could confidently carry out most of the maintenance on my car and motorbike, but that is no longer the case. This is for two reasons: on the one hand, my ageing brain and dying brain cells have robbed me of the ‘confidence of youth’, and I just can’t face the challenges and inherent risk of ‘mucking things up’! On the other hand, the technological advances in the design and manufacture of motor vehicles have left me way behind and rendered me totally inadequate for the task.
To be honest, I can’t even face reading the ‘Manual’ or seeking help from Google any more - not that this latter option was even available in my youth! What I am most thankful for is that I am in touch with people who do know how to keep my vehicles in good, safe running order.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I see a parallel with all of life today. The political unrest and rebellious, out-of-control, destructive rioting that is being brought to our attention on a daily, even hourly, basis, is clearly beyond human solution. I can remember a time when just knowing we had a reliable, well-informed and well-equipped police force and defence force was sufficient to allow me to rest soundly at night, mainly because we were in a democratic society that generally accepted and respected authority. However, I now think the time for finding ‘human’ solutions to our problems is past. In this scenario, it is so comforting to know that there is Someone whom is in full control of everything that is happening, and Who knows how to fix it, as well as having the capability, the power to do so.
When God’s people, Israel, were in a similar desperate situation, he sent them a prophet to remind them of a very important fact, and one that could be verified by his involvement in their history: “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8).
This ‘Potter-clay’ analogy allows me to sleep soundly at night (well, most nights - there are other factors!) after being demoralised by the evening news. It seems to me that the fact of God’s absolute sovereignty over the Universe He has created, coupled with his faithfulness, compassion, mercy and love - all things that were clearly demonstrated in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus in fulfilment of his promises - is the sure foundation that enables us to face tomorrow with persevering confidence.
Israel needed constant reminding of these things - and so do we. Perhaps the greatest reason why there is increasing despair and depression among young people these days is because they have either forgotten, or have never been told these truths. Let us keep on reminding ourselves and one another of them, and let such ‘reminding’ be so much a part of our daily lives and interactions, that the next generation(s) ‘breathe’ this refreshing spiritual air, and become accustomed to this health-giving spiritual climate, and so enjoy the peace/wholeness (‘shalom’) that the LORD God desires, earnestly and lovingly, for ALL his people. Remember, Jesus promised, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Rev Bruce Christian
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