Be Still Know
Psalm 57:4 NLT
I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey – whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords.
Having moved house, we were without TV for just over a week. My radio was buried deep in some box waiting to be rediscovered. Consequently, we lived without news for a week. Now, as a probationary praying hermit, I have successfully reduced my dependence upon the news. A strange dependency, since I can make not one jot of difference practically to everything I learn. I can, of course, pray, and prayer remains the most potent contribution to a world at war with itself.
Once reconnected, that first news broadcast had a deep impact. The scale of disorder globally came across as insurmountable. Here was I, a unique yet very small individual, bombarded with countless horrors of human misery. Apart from texting the occasional £5 contribution, what was I to do?
The very reality of incarnation dawned upon me. So much of our individual life is about pushing pain out of view, and directing all our efforts at self-realisation. Life becomes dominated by the refrain of my welfare and that of my family. While taking responsibility for the welfare of myself and family is good, it has to be balanced against the scriptural injunction to love neighbour as we love self. I am in this world to live the God-life as a witness to all around, for sure. Yet, this God-life invites me to live with an eye to the welfare of my neighbour – both around the corner and around the globe.
It remains the live question for every follower of Jesus, how best to make sense of such an injunction in our world. Near-neighbours through technology, yet increasingly isolated from each other on our own street…The scale of the world’s ills have surely defeated us when we choose to withdraw from the fray. God has placed us where we are on purpose; our responsibility is to realise that purpose. This is the reality of the incarnate life.
QUESTION: In the midst of a troubled world, what small steps can you take to express the love of God?
PRAYER: Sovereign King, help me not to withdraw or be overwhelmed by the sufferings I see, but to do the small things with faith in your reign.