“Stop the world! I want to get off!” This world is broken. And it gets more broken by the day. I sometimes wonder how any of us find the strength to carry on.
It’s almost enough for one to say, “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!” That, according to Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy,’ is the inscription above the entrance to Hell. In this day and age, it might well be the inscription above the entrance into life on earth.
We all know who to blame for this brokenness, of course. We all know who is ‘Patient Zero’ in this tragedy.
It is, of course, our first father, Adam. That fateful bite of the forbidden fruit set all of humanity and all of creation on a downward spiral of brokenness and evil.
You all know the history of wars, famine, terrorism, plague, poverty, tsunamis, corruption and more of the last 100 years. And the more recent drought, bushfires, floods, Coronavirus, economic devastation, and now rioting in the streets over the murder of George Floyd.
At the end of each of the last several years, I recall saying, “That was a really tough year. Next year won’t be that hard, surely.” No prizes for guessing the answer. Each succeeding year has been more difficult, more demanding, and more painful than the last.
I know I’m not alone in thinking that. Many people – even young ones – have made similar comments to me. And yet, as demanding as they have been, my struggles pale into insignificance compared to what some friends and family have been through.
We’ve haven’t even been able to catch our breath from all this, only to hear in this past week of a devastating house fire here in Victoria which killed some and severely injured several others; people who are family of our City Edge family.
Then only yesterday, we get news of the death of a young man – soon to be a father – in a road accident. Again, family of our City Edge family, which brings it all so close to home.
Could things get worse? Every time we think we are over the worst of it, some other disaster befalls us. The whole world seems to be going crazy!
It’s relentless; it’s overwhelming; it’s an assault on the senses. No wonder mental health issues and suicides are spiralling. God help us all!
None of this should really come as a shock to us though. The Bible warns us of wars and famines and earthquakes [see Matt 24:7-12 for example]. It warns us of man’s inhumanity to man [see 2 Tim 3:1-4].
But it also tells us something else. It tells us that all this pain and loss and grief and devastation is not without meaning. It is designed – at least in part – to make us realise that this is not the way things are meant to be!
Every broken bone, every cancer, every death, every earthquake or flood or drought or war, should remind us that things shouldn’t be like this.
And it should make us cry out for – hunger and thirst for – the good, the perfect, the eternal.
For it wasn’t like this in the beginning. And a time will come when it won’t be like this anymore. Sadly, that time is not yet, but we hope and pray that it is rapidly approaching.
And the Bible tells us that there is a solution. God will one day make all things new – a new heaven and a new earth. And He will dwell with mankind, and be with us Himself [see Rev 21:1-3].
When that time comes, He will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things will have passed away [Rev 21:4].
That is what all of this is pointing towards. That is what we look forward to. For everyone who has put their trust in Jesus Christ has this unshakeable promise – this is not the way things are supposed to be, and this is not the way things will remain forever.
Will you put your trust in Him today? For only He can provide comfort – true comfort – in this life, and peace – perfect peace – in the next.
“Cherish hope, all ye who enter His rest!”