A fresh, young New Year has now arrived on the scene! But, man oh man, I sure wish this one could have been delivered with a little more optimism…
Truthfully, I’ve found myself struggling with discouragement as the infant days of 2013 make their appearance. The picture isn’t a very pretty one as we tighten our seatbelts and enter the economic and moral turbulence that’s unavoidably ahead for us. As hard as I wish it were otherwise, we’re in for a very bumpy ride. And like so many others right now, I’ve been digging deep to find some “hope” that will carry us forward. Instead, I’ve found myself completely baffled over how in the world we got to where this nation is right now!
At the same time, with the beginning of the new year I’ve also begun reading through the Bible, as I do each year. This time, Dan and I are reading it chronologically, which means we’re currently in the book of Job… not the greatest place to start, with this state of mind! Yet ironically, I’ve been finding myself inexplicably buoyed with “hope” as I move my way, timidly, through Job’s story. What’s particularly captured my attention is that, even in the very heart of his adversity, Job says (chapter 12):
“Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind…”
Despite his intense adversity, incredulously, Job still sees only one thing that’s vastly bigger than the trouble that’s right there in front of him. God. God is all over his story– even if it meant Job had times of being frustrated or angry with Him. God was still the heartbeat of his story.
So I’m wondering– might I dare see God all over ours too? Right here and now, in 2013?
Like Job, this is what we truly need to be convinced about right now, in 2013:
“…With God are wisdom and might;
He has counsel and understanding.
If he tears down, none can rebuild;
if he shuts a man in, none can open,
If he withholds the waters, they dry up;
if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.
With him are strength and sound wisdom;
the deceived and the deceiver are his.
He leads counselors away stripped,
and judges he makes fools.
He looses the bonds of kings and binds a waistcloth on their hips,
he leads priests away stripped and overthrows the mighty.
He deprives of speech those who are trusted
and takes away the discernment of the elders.
He pours contempt on princes
and loosens the belt of the strong…
He makes nations great, and he destroys them;
He enlarges nations, and leads them away,
He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth
and makes them wander in a pathless waste.
They grope in the dark without light,
and he makes them stagger like a drunken man…”
Yes, a New Year has arrived, and with it, frustration over the insanity of the leaders of this nation who are baffling us all in their foolishness. And yet we should not be so shocked or surprised. It’s God Himself Who confounds the wisdom of those we thought ought to be wise.
It isn’t really much different from Babel after all, is it!? In arrogance, men thought they were capable of being smarter than God, as though they’d intellectually outgrown their need for Him… but just as it did at Babel, such fixation on man only leads to complete confusion, a total breakdown in communication and cooperation.
We might be completely baffled over the blind incompetence and total lack of comprehension that our civil “leaders” have demonstrated, leading us nowhere except into utter chaos. But should we be surprised, really? We’re long overdue for the tower of Babel to produce its chaos. It sure seems like none of them is speaking the same language at all!
Now that it’s obvious we cannot put our hope in men, maybe we’ll finally realize, like Job did, that even yet, we are still very much in the Hands of a Mighty, Just, and Holy God who will not give His glory to another. We ought to have expected nothing else.
So, do I have hope for what’s ahead? You bet I do! But my hope sure isn’t in the foolishness of men in office! Thankfully, my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and Righteousness. On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand. My hope, like Job’s, is resting firmly in the Hands of God who has never left us, has never forsaken us, and will be with us as we walk into the days ahead, whatever they may bring.
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