Be Strong and Take Courage

Today’s Bible reading, Psalm 27:13 – 14, can be found here.

There’s been a series on NPR recently about the afterlife and the beliefs of different religions.  I haven’t listened to all of them, but I was particularly interested in what the invited atheist had to say.  Meanwhile, on social media, there’s been a discussion about how to reconcile the existence of God with the problem of evil.  Driving home from Indianapolis in recent days has also put me face to face with a billboard that says “Millions are living happily without religion” which may not be a direct denial of the existence of God but sure does seem like one on the face.  It seems to be thing, right now, to either overtly denounce the existence of our Creator God or to seek to undermine His sovereignty or other attributes based on our view of how the world is.

Honestly, I’ve had my own “crises of faith” through the years, specifically as young teen and later as a 20-something.  I think that anyone willing to stare into the unknown will have those crises to a greater or lesser degree.  I’ll not go into how I was drawn back toward my belief in YHVH as Creator God as well as my personal Redeemer.  I will say, however, that it was not a subtle shifting of opinion.  I was in polar opposition one minute and was spiritually prostrate the next.

Today’s passage is one of those I often live out these days.  For those who ask how I can believe in or follow a God who would allow the tragedy existing in today’s world, I say “I would have despaired unless I believed that I saw the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”  What then should we do?  “Wait for the LORD.  Be strong and let your heart take courage.  Yes, wait for the LORD.”

I often think how similar we are to ants and hummingbirds.  Ants move through life, working and eating and storing together.  They accomplish things that far outsize their individual lives, their immediate tasks, or their physical ability.  Hummingbirds exist in an experience of speed.  While they can hover in the moment, their frantic metabolism makes their momentary beauty that much more imperative as they burn their lives out in the now.  We are much the same, not seeing the implications or immensity of the work we do and yet still assuming a longevity to our temporal lives that is skewed in its perspective.

I would have despaired a LONG time ago (from my perspective) if I hadn’t believed that I’d seen and still see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  I believe and so I will wait on the LORD and my heart takes courage.