A thunderous storm rolled in over south-east Queensland on Wednesday sending the cockatoos squaking... sort of like the frenzy that is the fracus that erupted when Kevin Rudd resigned from his Foreign Ministerial post.
It's tempting in the case of such events to completely lose the plot. What seems a giant problem in the moment, often turns out to be quite insignificant, or a blessing in disguise, in the end. But to affect a countenance of quiet trust and peace is no easy thing, even when regular life is rolling on, but usually pays dividends.
Take Noah, for instance. Did he lose the plot when God told him He would be sending a flood on the earth to wipe out mankind? Nope. He obediently went about constructing his ark, cautioning the people that they should be wise and turn back to God, and saved his whole family in the process. Note that Noah didn't sit around twiddling his thumbs or freaking out; he did what God told him to do.
Then, after God had sent his flood on the earth, wiping it clean of all the destruction, violence and corruption man had wrought, He made a covenant with his faithful friend. He would never again send a flood of such enormity and calamity to wipe the whole earth clean, and He gave us the rainbow to remind us of His promise to Noah. Then He gave us Jesus who said, "It is finished".
Oftentimes it's hard to see the rainbows through the storms of life as they roll in; to remember the significance of the cross when everything is coming apart. This is why it's so important to hold on to the signs that God has given each of us to assure us of his care and everlasting love – from the universal symbol of the rainbow, to His very word and open arms of his Son.
If you're lacking mental clarity, it's wise to refer to remember these – in a moment a reflection on the cross can change everything. It changes our perspective.
If you are the owner of a naughty new puppy, for example, at it is in the habit of eating your favourite ballet flats, and you are at the end of your tether because you've had a challenging day, then perhaps instead of kicking the little puppy – because, really, it doesn't know any better and your shoes are tasty, and, besides, you would be on report to the RSPCA – consider for a split second the cross, and Jesus being taunted and ridiculed and dying a hideous death and, well, life is not so bad now, is it? Why not pat the puppy?
It's tempting to let fly when things do not go according to plan, because we are self-obsessed like that, thinking that everything is about us and us only, and sometimes we do need to have a big cry because we are emotional beings with feelings that get hurt and tramped over by others. But being self-controlled is a fruit of the Spirit of Christ, so if you're lacking in this area, and you are His follower, you can draw on his strength and not your own. It takes practise and confidence that His best is for your benefit, but it's always there to tap into.
When we have stirred up a hornet's nest, it's unwise to blame God for circumstances we've brought on ourselves. He's not going to very well leave us without a life raft in such events, but He will take His hand off the situation for long enough for us to come to our senses, repent and make amends. But even then, if we lose everything and we are ripe for public mockery, He is there for us in the end just as He was in the beginning. As with Noah, He'd sooner call us friend than see us washed up in a senseless oblivion. Amen!
Girl With a Satchel