Monday, July 16, 2012
How the randomness of this life gives me hope...
"You are my refuge and my shield. I have put my hope in your word." -- Psalm 119:114
Randomness...doesn't it seem like sometimes the things that happen in our lives seem to have no rhyme or reason? Just take the "Ohio storm of the century" or the "big blow" (I heard the someone call it that on the radio) that happened a few weeks ago that had so many without power for so long. That strong wind knocked over huge trees in one yard and skipped the next house completely. Some people on one side of the street were without power for a few hours while some on the other side of the same street went for days without power. It was so random and seemed at the time to make no sense!
So many things seem to make no sense to me. And while we all WANT things in life to be fair, we all know that life is NOT fair at all. We usually don't get what we want, or when we get it, we find it really doesn't make us happy like we thought...we get confused. Then, when bad people prosper and good people suffer we get angry and just plain frustrated with the world.
Our pastor's sermon yesterday spoke about just this topic and I have been thinking a lot about it. Solomon, who was the wisest man to ever live, teaches us about the randomness of this life...he says it is all utterly MEANINGLESS! Ok, if life is so meaningless, why even go on? (Ecclesiastes 1)
Solomon repeats the phrase "under the sun" several times. We can SEE what is under the sun...what is here on earth. God made the earth and placed us on it, and gave us what we can see. But, God is BEYOND the sun...his world, that he promises to those who believe in him, is eternal, infinite and NOT random at all. Believing in heaven and a peacful eternity with God is what gives me hope...it's what gets me through the day.
But, I have to admit, I sometimes think, hey wait a minute...why would a loving, caring father place his children in such a random and hateful world and make them struggle and hurt and LONG for a peaceful world they can't have? Why am I always disatisfied with my situations? Why do I get so frustrated with the way things are, with how hateful people are, with how pointless it all seems sometimes?
I don't have all the answers...as a matter of fact, I have very few answers. But, I think God wants us to learn how powerful he is...he wants us to believe in him...he wants us to know that even though things seem pointless and meaningless, he IS in control. He wants us to fear him, and that doesn't mean he wants us to be AFRAID of him, but to respect his power and authority over our meager little lives on this earth. When we learn to fear him and follow his commands, we give up...we give up thinking that we can control what happens to us. When we look past what we can see, look "beyond the sun" to what is to come, we find that it doesn't matter how random things seem. God WILL take care of us...we just can't even imagine what that really means.
That's why today's Bible verse is so perfect for what has been going on in my mind lately. God's word is my refuge and my shield...it is my hope. So, when the next "big blow" happens...and it will...I can get over the fact that it seems so random. I can rest in God's promises. I will follow his commands and know that he will take care of me. I will look BEYOND the sun and have confidence in what I can't see. When my heart is hurting over something I can't have, I will press on because I know that God will give me my heart's desires one day for eternity. I will take comfort in the randomness of this world and thank God for giving me just a bit of Solomon's wisdom that will get me through his hard time and the next and the next. And one day all will be revealed to me and I will be rewarded for my faithfulness. Some don't believe in living this life while hoping for the next...I don't see any other way of living. What's the point of this life if I am not putting my trust and hope in the next? God knows the point, and it is NOT random.