Nov 15, 2013

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MEDITATION: Our history is in God’s hands

MEDITATION: Our history is in God’s hands

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? (Romans 8:35)

We can’t remind ourselves enough of the danger to continuously be negative and cynical about our country and its people.

Of course, there is much to be upset, sad and even angry about. Especially when we think about the abuse of woman and children, the greed and crime – also the political arena and what people in power do or neglect to do. It was not without reason that the author Alan Paton called his famous novel about our country and its troubled history: “Cry the beloved country.”

But it will be a shame and even a sign of unbelief when we have nothing more to say or do, but only to focus on what is negative and disheartening – almost like an old grammaphone record that got stuck.

No, there are many good reasons why, without misleading ourselves, we can and should also remain positive and hopeful.

In this regard I want to remind you:

• That much of the news that we receive – either by TV or radio – is selective, one sided and overly sensationalist. They often reflect more of what needs to be dished up to sell, than to inform their readers in a balanced and responsible way. Numerous good and positive things also happen in the world each day without it being reported in the newspapers.

• That the majority of people in our country are still unbelievably friendly, kind-hearted and forgiving. Just a simple smile or a wave of the hand or any other friendly gesture will evoke this.

• That many people who complain can still count their blessings on ten or more fingers. But they tend to react negatively from fear of losing many of their privileges or even worse: sharing them with others.

• That what our country looks like is always also a reflection of our own style of living and behaviour as citizens of this country, especially our attitudes, priorities and choices. Which means that a country can never be better than the values and general disposition of its inhabitants. Which also means that you can make a difference, however small. Your contribution does count.

•  That as a believer we may trust that God is in control – that history, also that of our country, will never slip from God’s hands. That nothing can separate us from God’s love. And that when we remain faithful to our vocation, also work positively in creating a just society, the Lord will not disappoint or put us to shame. In the end God will work everything to our good – even when we have to sacrifice and suffer (Rom 8:28).

So let’s be happy and keep on smiling. Things are not that bad.

Carel Anthonissen

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