Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thinx 31: Suffering

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are King over the flood
I will be still and know you are God
-- "Still" by Hillsong United. Album: Hope (2003)
Do our worship songs create unreal expectations? What if instead of "soaring above", we have to "sink below", or even "plough right through"?

There's an older song based on Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
-- RSV
When you walk through the waters, and when you pass through the flame, you don't drown and you are not burned up. But you can be soaked to the skin, and all that you carry may get washed away; you can get scorched and all that you own may be destroyed.

You may, in fact, die. Looking at that from God's perspective, it's not a problem: you have been saved; who you are now is only part of the story. There's also the eternity of who you will be in the new heavens and new earth. Fearsome as are floods and fires, you will not perish. God holds you in his hand; nothing can snuff you out of existence.

So be of good courage. The valley may run deeper than any you have ever experienced before. Torrential rains and turbulent waves may threaten. You may know painful sorrow and the loss of all things. But someone has been this way before. Remember him when the fires of hardship and affliction come roaring at you like a wind-driven bushfire.

Keep your eyes on your Creator, Sustainer, Lord and Friend. The consummation of all things is at hand.

© Copyright Bruce M. Axtens, 2005.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Thinx 30: Grace

Friday sees me on my face.
Saturday seems me crying for grace.
I scream, "Sunday!"
-- One Bad Pig, "I Scream Sunday".
I stuff up.
I humble myself.
I wonder if I'll ever see any good.
And then God makes the bus wait for me.

I've been spending a lot of time weeping lately.
I have some big unresolved hurts.
It seems no one is listening.
But God made the bus wait for me.

I met a young mother on the train with her one and a half year old son.
The young woman said she'd only just turned sixteen.
The father hadn't been seen for the best part of a year.

A friend said, "That's life."
Maybe so, but does that make it right, good and just?
And the sixteen year old mother of an 18 month old son:
who will make the bus wait for her?