This was one of those weeks when I saw it on the faces of people other than myself for once. I mentioned Victor, the new Christian, recovering drug addict, trying to make his way back from the darkness. I’ve talked to Christians so enthralled with the political process that their light is dim, their path lonely, their way a maze. I’ve seen the face of a wife of 61 years as she contemplates the days ahead, the emptiness that is sure to come. The lonely ex-husband at work that tried everything he knew to try in a futile attempt to save a marriage in which thorns and thistles had been allowed to grow without pruning. I’ve talked to the ex-wife that allowed bitterness and hatred to erect walls between her and her children. The youth pastor that is overwhelmed at the enormity of trying to be all to all.
Yes, life can be hard. I remember during one of the times I was without employment, Pop gave me a coffee mug (he so likes to give stuff) that said “Relax, Running the World is God’s Job!”. Matter of fact, I’m drinking from it as I type this morning. Also on the cup is the reason for the slogan, a quote from Jesus in Matthew, part of His teaching we call the Sermon on the Mount, chapter 6, verses 25-34. We usually call the subdivision “Do Not Worry” or something similar. I particulary like the way Eugene Peterson paraphrased the verse on the cup, 34, as follows:
â€œGive your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and donâ€™t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
Why do we overlook something so very simple? For if, in the cases above, each one of these people were able to remember Jesus’ words during their time of distress, they too would be able to have the peace that comes in Jesus, through Jesus. Yet, it seems that no matter how many times we hear the words, and even apply them, our tendency is to fall back upon our own understanding, seeking to correct the situation on our own.