“… the conditions that so often induce hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth among so many of us are relativized by Jesus’ prayer of thanksgiving. Hidden kingdom energies surge just beneath the surface all around us. Huge subterranean rivers of prayer–faith and obedience and praise, intercession and forgiveness and deliverance, holiness and grace–glow freely underground. And in virtually every nook and cranny on earth, obscure in the shadows, overlooked in the crowds, are the ‘infants.’ These are the ‘babes and infants’ that God has always used as a bulwark to ‘still the enemy and the avenger’ (Ps. 8:2) Jesus does not minimize the ‘conditions.’ He takes them very seriously indeed. He confronts and rebukes. He exposes pretension and weeps over hardened hearts. But he doesn’t despair. He doesn’t second-guess the Father. He doesn’t dilute his holy resolve with something less than holy.” Eugene Peterson
“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned,
and revealed them to little children.”
Jesus in Matthew 11:25
“The Bible never counsels indifference to the forces of darkness, only resistance, but it supports no illusions that we can defeat them ourselves. Christianity does not agree with the optimistic thinkers who say, ‘We can fix things if we try hard enough.’ Nor does it agree with the pessimists who see only a dystopian future. The message of Christianity is, instead, ‘Things really are this bad, and we can’t heal or save ourselves. Things really are this dark—nevertheless, there is hope.’ The Christmas message is that ‘on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.’ Notice that it doesn’t say from the world a light has sprung, but upon the world a light has dawned. It has come from outside. There is light outside of this world, and Jesus has brought that light to save us; indeed, he is the Light.” Tim Keller
Moving From Head to Heart
- Terrible “conditions” in our world may make us oblivious that “hidden kingdom energies surge just beneath the surface all around us.” Are you aware of these energies?
- The opposite mistake minimizes the conditions. Failing to notice, confront or rebuke injustice falls short in another way. For one thing, it fails to love victims the way Jesus did.
- Can you admit the darkness, confront the injustice, and continue to live with hope because you know God works in our world in innumerable, powerful, hidden ways–and that “light” will prevail in the end?
Abba, deliver me from settling for hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth.
For more: Tell It Slant by Eugene Peterson
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and God seeks you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. Thanks! – Bill