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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Wave after Wave

I just read a tweet declaring that 2014 is so unremittingly bad a year that nothing can cheer us up. 

Does time trend, like twitter does, sometimes trending bad and sometimes trending good? Maybe so. I imagine folk living through the 1914-1918 war would have thought those years were so unremittingly bad nothing could cheer them up. Same with the second world war. Depending on where you live in the world, there will be conflicts which have hit like a tsunami and overwhelmed all else – as is happening across the Middle East and in parts of Africa and Ukraine and Asia now. 

Is it unremitting though? Is there no hope? Is there nothing to celebrate?

Through it all, God’s love continues to pour over us, wave after wave of his love. If your heart is breaking, his huge heart has shattered a jillion times. He doesn’t just break his heart over the things we see. He sees the brokenness inside each of our lives and that, too, breaks his heart.

I am privileged to live in a place and at a time of peace and tranquillity. But outside of our living room and kitchen windows, I can glimpse the Hill of Fare, where a huge battle took place between Mary Queen of Scots and the Gordons from Huntly. Protestant against Catholic. This bucolic scenery would have rung out with the clang of steel on steel, the cries of the wounded and the shouts of the victorious. It must have seemed unremittingly bad to those at the time.

And through it all, God’s love will still have washed over this scene, wave after wave of his love. 

And things changed. Now it is peaceful here. Forever? I hope so, but God knows.

How often I remember the experience of snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef the day before a hurricane hit eastern Australia. The water was beautifully warm but choppy, beginning to be stirred by the winds that were coming. It splashed in my mask when I lifted my face from the scene of peaceful tranquillity below the surface. There was an air of storminess and incipient turmoil. But as soon as I planted my mask on the surface of the water, began breathing through the tube and looking underwater, I felt part of a scene of amazing beauty and pervasive peace. It was as if the conflicting winds and waves above were not happening at all.

Through it all, through all the storms, through all the traumas, through all the unpleasantness, God’s love continues to wash over us, wave after wave of his love, of his peace, of his power. Yes, we walk through turbulent times, but with focus and determination and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can walk in his peace and power. And the waves of his love have the power to transform any situation.

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