How do you know that you will survive the craziness of this world and that there is a future and a hope for genuine peace? Do you hear what I hear? Conflicting ideas, crazy ideas, and ideas already proven failures are offered up daily. You wonder how anyone could think some of his stuff up! How do you find peace, how do you know hope in a world like ours?
I grew up in a time of great stability in the United States and I was doubly blessed by a home environment that was even more stable. I always knew that when I got home Mom would be there and that by nightfall Dad would be there too. I always knew that there would be something to eat. I always knew that fall Fridays meant football and I always knew where we would be on Sunday. I always knew. I am certain that my parents dealt with many uncertainties of which I never got a glimpse. But they gave me the key ingredients of a happy childhood; love, stability, and boundaries.
More has changed than just my age. I look at the children in our culture today. Some of them are doing remarkably well mind you. But many children today are stressed beyond anything I could even conceive when I was growing up. The frightening spiral of violence is shaking us at our roots. Yet it has not shaken out many answers. Children have always been capable of meanness but what we are seeing is something of a different order.
One of the most striking things about Scripture is the certainty that some people had about life, about peace, and about hope. Theirs too was a violent world. John the Baptist and Paul lost their heads and Peter was crucified upside down. How’s that for violence! There was little certainty of the next meal until it was before you. Often, there was little certainty of the next bed or even the next day!
Truth is, we don’t know about tomorrow either. These Bible characters who exhibit to us such confidence in living became that way by listening to the One who asked “Why are you anxious?” (Matthew 6:28) Why? Really? Don’t we have cause aplenty to be anxious?
He knew they were anxious. He knows we are too. That’s why He asked. It is also why He commanded, “Do not be anxious.” He spoke those words into the violent, turbulent, anxiety-ridden world in which they lived. He speaks the same word to our world. Either it is possible to do His bidding and not be anxious, or it isn’t. That’s why I ask “how do you know?” If it is possible, how do we get there? There is a way and that is what this blog is about.