Summer is a hazy, lazy type of season for most of us here in the USA. But a quick perusal of the headlines reminds us that this is not the case for millions of persons throughout the world–or even in our own nation. Reading a newspaper can turn into a depressing experience as soon as your eye catches the front page headline. To combat this affect you must develop a heart brimming with thankfulness for what God has given you. You might think you have a meager portion in this world. But many have a good deal less.
Why does a good and sovereign God allow such horror in the world? The honest answer is we don’t really know. Anybody who thinks he or she does should know better. The old hymn tells us that God moves in mysterious ways. Indeed, He does, but it’s more than that. God moves in ways that sometimes are beyond our understanding; His actions are of a different species than anything we encounter on planet earth. When this occurs, faith takes center stage. Faith sees us through the tough times. Isn’t it a shame that we often forget about God during the good times?
We often get hit with what I call “moments of un-faith” when reading about an evil person taking advantage of a helpless child, or of a people suffering some needless tragedy. A picture some years ago nearly crushed my spirit. A publication had a photo of an African boy weeping over his family’s home that the government had destroyed in a “clean up program”. The house was nothing more than a shack, really. But it was his home. Probably the only one he’d ever known.
Sometime this month—maybe when it’s very hazy, very hot and very humid— take a few moments and thank God for the fan, or the air conditioner, or the cool glass of water you just poured. Say a prayer for some unknown girl whose entire family has just been killed in some civil war in some remote part of the world. Say a prayer for the little boy who has to work 16 hours a day in some Third-world factory to pay off his family’s debts. Then say a prayer for America. Pray that we remember God’s kindness as we’ve been blessed beyond measure. May God have mercy on us all. Enjoy the remainder of the summer. But remember that it’s awfully hot and unpleasant for a lot of folks out there. Be grateful for all that God has given you in Christ.