yesterday, today, forever…

Last week our three children spent the week away from home with their grandparents in Tennessee. With this gift of a husband-wife-only sort of staycation, Ryan and I took advantage of this time together and had date night every night last week. We ate out at a different restaurant each evening and even took a long walk at a nearby park. It was wonderful!

IMG_3539

As we continued on the path, we began talking about this particular part of our city. There’s a major landmark here and as one of our state’s oldest cities, we reminisced about how the canal that paralleled our path must have been vital for making a way of life for the people of our city as far back as almost two hundred years ago.

This got me thinking.

This sandy, dusty road is one that generations of other people have tread. In 2015, I was out power-walking in my cushy tennis shoes and workout clothes. But 75 or 100 or even 150 years ago people were using the pathway for a variety of reasons. People were near this area loading up cotton and logs to move them down the river to other ports. Then, like that night, those people were probably hot and sweaty; their shoes were probably filled with grainy pebbles of sediment; they, like me, probably had their own families, their own joys and even their own fears and worries about what tomorrow might bring. Their worlds and issues may have differed from mine in some ways, but in others, there is nothing new under the sun. The people who have walked this road experienced troubles.

It seems over the past few months, I have grown increasingly aware of just how tremulous this world wants to make us feel.  The media, and social media in particular, thrives on the most scandalous, the most sensational, the most controversial of issues and presents those ideas to us (the general American population) in ways that often cause anxiety, panic, and even in extreme cases, paranoia.

I remember in fourth grade watching the Challenger take-off and subsequent explosion while watching a television in Mrs. Gant’s classroom at DuPont Elementary and knowing then that this was monumental.

I remember feeling fearful about AIDS and what it meant for our world when a fellow-eighth-grade-classmate gave a report on Greg Louganis. I wondered then what this might mean for our world. Fear of a deadly disease spread like crazy. Children nation-wide began hovering over toilet seats and drinking fountains.

I have very vivid memories of watching Channel 1 in my homeroom in Mrs. Hysinger’s Honors Algebra class in ninth grade; they told us the Internet or World Wide Web would change the way the world works.

And I remember in 2001, teaching my own classroom of tenth graders and walking into the teacher’s copy room to hear that the Twin Towers had been hit by airplanes. As a newlywed of only one month, I remember getting home that evening and Ryan and I staring into our television at our apartment. I knew then that this was significant and that our would was changing. Likewise, over the past few months, I’ve sat in astonishment wondering how events of today will affect our tomorrows.

The people who have walked this road experienced troubles.

As a 38 year old, Generation X-er, I have grown up in a world where much has changed. I have a foot in the old ways and a foot in the new world; I remember simpler times and I know the unease and terror of major turning points in our history.

The difference is that the first half of my life, the way the information about these events was delivered to me was in small bites via the evening news and the printed newspaper. In a sense, these crises of our world weren’t constantly in front of my face. Now, as an adult, through the Internet, less-than-credible news outlets, social media and that tiny iPhone that’s glued to my hand, I’m never far from being inundated with more news and worse yet, with gazillions of opinions about said issues. As a Christian, I’ve kept quiet.

The people who have walked this road experienced troubles.

Largely, I have felt that my own beliefs about recent issues garnering national attention and the truth of Scripture are at odds with the masses. I have shied away from publicly stating an opinion or even stating anything as it may be deemed unsupportive, unloving, intolerant, fundamentalist, or even offensive.

The stories of the day include the celebration of people living under personas different than their biological anatomy given at birth; Supreme Court rulings that affect laws surrounding marriage issues; race related violence; human organs sold by Planned Parenthood; and just yesterday an apparent act of terror that left four U.S. Marines dead in my own hometown.

I went to bed with a heavy heart as I have done often in recent weeks. Just when I think that this world can’t get any more messed up and crazy, something else happens that proves we are indeed living in a fallen world.

You see, it isn’t about where I stand on moral issues of the day. It isn’t about my take on the motivations of violent offenders or the platform of pop-culture or the permissive media machine. As a Christian, I don’t believe it’s my place to argue or convince you to see it my way. Chances are, me espousing my views and convictions won’t influence you to change your mind just as you taking your stands, getting on your soapboxes on Facebook, or sharing your opinions won’t change mine.

*****

This morning when I woke up, I thought about that sandy path down by the canal a few miles from my house. Generations of people who have traveled that path have had their own fears about the state of the world since the dawning of time. There has been global and national unease, turbulence and turmoil as long as there have been people on this earth.

This morning I am reminded that there is indeed nothing new under the sun. I need not fear or allow my heart to feel distress based on the ruinous world around me. My faith is not found in the world, in our great nation, in the actions of political leaders, Kardashians, or in the clamoring voices of news broadcasts, viral videos, or contemptuous “news” articles floating around social media.

The people who have walked this road experienced troubles.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” {John 16:33}

My faith and hope is found in Christ.

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” {Isaiah 40:28}

While the world may change and grumble and moan; when our world or country may feel like it’s falling apart in uncertain times… MY GOD NEVER CHANGES. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. {Hebrews 13:8}

Today, it is my hope that you, too, would be filled with confidence, peace and a firm faith in the sovereignty of an unchanging God.

“I Know My Faith is Founded” 

The Lutheran Hymnal, #381

 I know my faith is founded
On Jesus Christ, my God and Lord;
And this my faith confessing
Unmoved I stand upon His Word.
Man’s reason cannot fathom
The truth of God profound;
Who trusts her subtle wisdom
Relies on shifting ground.
God’s Word is all-sufficient,
It makes divinely sure,
And trusting in its wisdom,
My faith shall rest secure.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “yesterday, today, forever…

  1. Brenda says:

    Claire, You take emotions and attach beautiful, clarifying words. Thank you for these words of hope and comfort. Grateful, B

    Like

  2. Julie says:

    Love this post Claire. Such a beautiful reminder to us that feel turmoil in our hearts because of the turmoil around us. There is a peace and comfort in knowing that the world around us is not forever and that it has always had its struggles. Each year, decade, or century has had many head-shaking events, but He hasn’t changed. Steady, tried and true.

    Like

  3. Kathy says:

    So good, Claire! Like you, my heart has been and is so heavy! It’s just something that stays with you even if you’re not thinking about it. And now they are showing the faces of these Marines who were killed. Most or all of them had been in Iraq and were in combat and came home to die like this! I am heartbroken! But God is still God….He never changes and He is always in control!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s