I’ve been a bit preoccupied with my own drama lately so I haven’t been paying too much attention to current affairs. Ligament pain and a pinched nerve mean that most days, I’m curled up in bed by mid-afternoon, hoping the girls aren’t breaking down the house. The third trimester is so much fun, guys.
But I’m not oblivious to what’s going on in South Africa or around the world. (Thank you, social media.) It’s heartbreaking to see images of buses burning, shops being looted, people in despair.
We live in uncertain times. The prevailing attitudes are fear, anger, hatred, and a hopeless resignation. It is far too easy to get caught up in it. Every day, the news is worse than the day before. A young woman is raped and left unconscious behind a dumpster. A home invasion leaves an old man dead. A hijacker kills his victim. A young man shoots the celebrity he’s obsessed with. Another young man shoots up a nightclub. A politician is murdered, leaving two children motherless. A city burns over a mayoral candidate dispute.
The world is falling apart all around us, and everyone is asking how it came to this.
The thing is, none of this is new. The world has been broken almost from the beginning. Brother killing brother. Daughters seducing father. Brother cheating brother. Brothers selling brother into slavery. Brother raping sister. Parents murdering their children. Wars – countless, endless wars. One people group oppressing another. This isn’t recent history – this is in the Bible.
So, yes, the world has always been broken, but never without hope.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
There are moments when I feel afraid about our safety – particularly as the mother of two daughters growing up in a very sexualised world. I also have times when I am uncertain about the future and question our decision to bring another child into this broken world.
But, “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) We learned that song in Sunday school, and I’ve found myself singing it often these last few months. It’s a reminder not only of the truth of the words, but of the importance of sowing truth in my children’s hearts while they are still young.
One of the verses we are learning together is Joshua 1:9. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be discouraged and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you.”
I often talk to my daughters about how our lives and world now are only temporary; how, as followers of Jesus, we look forward to the lives that await us with Him. Angie is usually the one to start these conversations about what we imagine life to be like in heaven, what our new bodies will look like, what it must be like never to get sick or tired, and what the new heaven and new earth will look like.
We’ve also spoken a lot about why our world is the way it is, and why people hurt each other all the time. Angie is not yet six, but she is a deep thinker and I am amazed at her understanding of sin and her own self-awareness. “I’m just not feeling like myself today. There’s something inside me making me do this,” she’ll say when I point out sinful attitude or behaviour.
The world is not going to fix itself. Hashtags and retweets aren’t going to change anything. The world is broken because we are broken, but our hope is that we won’t always be. There are better things that await us, and when we fix our eyes on eternity, then we can endure anything that this life throws at us.
Isn’t it encouraging to know that we don’t have to face this life alone?
Do you find yourself struggling with uncertainty and fear? Let me know how I can pray for you.