Tiny, but actual pangs of anxiety have been coursing through my chest lately as I read headlines from Washington and North Korea, and as I try to imagine what others are going through where earthquakes, hurricanes, shootings, and fires have recently struck. It’s not a good feeling. I’m wondering, friends–How are you doing?
In my house, we’ve been mildly joking that as soon as FEMA completely runs out of resources, the “Big One” will hit the Pacific NW, and we’ll be completely on our own. Somehow, it feels too possible to actually find it funny enough to laugh out loud. (My husband went to Costco recently for a big case of water, just in case, so I don’t think he’s laughing too hard either!)
Hope on the ground feels a tiny bit thin at times, to be honest.
So, in this era of threats and tweets, natural disasters, fake and real news and constantly having to discern between the two, I’ve come up with a list of my “Top Ten Reasons Why I Feel Hopeful (and Why You Can, too).” I need this list, and maybe you do, too?
I was going to create a nice, concise set of bullet points, but my tiny little anxiety pangs have actually subsided this week after spending time working on this, so I’ve decided that I need to spend more time with these–not just read them fast in a quick list. If that’s what you need too, I’ll be focusing on one bullet point each blog post, and then I’ll recap them all in a short list at the end.
- The sun still rises and sets (pretty spectacularly from my living room window lately, I might add). My God is Lord of all, including nature.
For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished (Matthew 5:18). He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45).
God still has a plan for each day, a plan leading to something bigger and better that only he can fully understand. If I trust God, I need to trust that all the disasters (natural and man-made), are ultimately subject to (not saying caused by) God’s bigger plan.
Most importantly, God’s Word tells us that he loves us. He loves me and you and all those folks in dire straits and even our political leaders on the right and the left. He even loves all those football players taking a knee. He made each of us, you see, to be part of his ultimate plan (John 3:16, for a reminder).
So, when Jesus says in Matthew that not a “least stroke of the pen” will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished, and he also says that “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” are the greatest commandments in the Law, maybe I have my answer as to why the sun rose and set again today: I get another chance to try to love God wholly and to love my neighbor as myself.
Have I done that? Have I tried to love God and others as myself in every conversation, in every social media post? In every action, no matter how subtle? Have I neglected to take action or words that would show love to God and others?
Thank you, Lord, for giving me–and all of us–another sunrise and sunset today, for giving us another chance! That’s a reason to hope, because, as it turns out, our hope isn’t “thin on the ground,” but with the Lord!
See next week’s post for Reason to be Hopeful #2~