“…for in Him we live and move and have our being….” (Acts 17:28a)
The latest media news cycles have been chock full of devastating events. After more than two years of pandemic headlines, we now watch the unfolding of a catastrophic war in Ukraine.* Economic turbulence and woes assail us. Political parties blast each other. If that’s not enough, just listen to climate change advocates for an earful of weather-related woes.
Our world is fractured, fragmented, broken. Heading like a runaway train on tracks going over a cliff.
There’s a reason why the media bombard us with all this awful stuff. Bad news sells. Good news gets an occasional nod. No news is worthless.
Dreadful things happen frequently in our personal lives, too. I just received a prayer request from a dear friend whose sister was in a serious car wreck. Only a week ago, I learned that another godly friend passed from this earth to heaven and is now in the arms of Jesus…we grieve losing her sweet presence. Others in my sphere are suffering from cancer, divorce, imprisonment.
We recoil from bad news because it represents something outside of our normal expectations. But we tend to ignore all the things we enjoy and cherish every day as “normal”—things we should regard as incredible blessings.
Think about the “no news” of your day. Maybe you didn’t lose your job, and your paycheck arrived in the mail as usual. You weren’t struck by lightning. Your house wasn’t destroyed by an exploding missile.
Your children came home from school with passing grades. You got a report from your doctor that your tests were normal. Your grandmother called to say “hi” because she’s still alive.
How about something as simple as turning on a switch for instant light? Or having water come right out of the faucet to wash your hands? You aren’t consciously aware of these modern wonders until the power goes out or you have to call a plumber.
How about breathing without a ventilator? Hugging a loved one? Seeing the beauty of a sunrise? Escaping the death sentence that COVID brought to so many of our loved ones? Those are all big provisions from God to all of us who are still alive.
Even the small bothers of life become sweet when put into perspective. The snore of a faithful spouse. Dirty dishes in the sink because you had food on the table. The rattle-clunk of an aging car that took you to your workplace. A baby’s cry when you were blessed to have one in your arms.
For a little while today, try turning off the talking heads, shutting out the noise, and (gasp!) unplugging your phone. You’ll hear something amazing—silence. If you listen in the stillness long enough, you’ll pick up on the gentle whispers of the Holy Spirit and rest in His presence.
I hope today is a “no news” kind of day for you, at least for a little while. And I hope you find God’s peace in quiet moments this week, when you can take joy in the “normalcy” of everyday occurrences. Delight in every detail of being alive in God’s beautiful world. And shout out your thanksgiving to Him with upraised arms. May the “no news” of your day be swept up in the “good news” that Jesus Christ is your Savior and the Hope of the world.
Jesus, we live and breathe and move by Your grace and mercy. As we hear bad news, may we be reminded to pray for all those who are affected by it, and may we relish the moments of “normal life” You give us every day. Remind us to bring You our praise and thanksgiving for all of Your blessings, especially Your mercy and redeeming love. In Your Holy Name, Amen.
*Please continue to lift up all of the people involved in the Russia-Ukraine war…that God would end this destructive invasion and loss of life, with His peace and healing.
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© Copyright 2022 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative (text and photography)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Here’s the good news of God’s grace for you:
The foundation of the Christian life is our faith in the Good News of God’s grace. The Living and True God is a God of justice and of mercy. Every person at one time bears the guilt of sinful rebellion against God and is separated by that sin from a relationship with Him. God’s holy justice requires punishment for human sin, but out of His love and mercy He gave His Son Jesus Christ to become the Savior of all who will trust in Him.
Christ became a man to fulfill the righteous requirements of God’s Law on their behalf, and to bear the punishment of their sins through His death on Calvary’s cross so that they can be forgiven and adopted into God’s eternal family.
Contrary to much of popular belief, we cannot earn the forgiveness of our sin and the inheritance of eternal life with God by being good enough to merit these blessings. The Bible teaches that as sinners we can never be good enough on our own merit. But God offers us these benefits as a free gift, purchased in love by the holy life and the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.
We accept this gift by placing our faith in Christ, repenting of our sins and trusting in His death as the means of our forgiveness and acceptance by God, receiving Him as our Savior and Lord. You may express this by praying a prayer in faith like the one that follows:
Dear Father, I believe that Jesus Christ is Your only begotten Son, and that He became a human being, shed His blood and died on the cross to pay the penalty and clean away the sin that has separated me from You. I believe that He rose bodily from the dead to give me new life. Lord Jesus, I invite You and ask You to come into my heart. I confess my sins, and ask You to forgive me. I accept You as my Savior and Lord. I want to turn from my sins and pray that Your Holy Spirit will help me follow Your way. I believe that You have come and are living in me right now. Thank You, Lord. In Your Name I pray, Amen.
(By Dr. James E. Richter, Retired Pastor, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee)