In his last album, Jim Morrison expressed his depressed world view in a song that would become a hit soon after his passing. Here is an excerpt of the song lyrics:
“Into this house we’re born, into this world we’re thrown like a dog without a bone, an actor out on loan.”* [*Source: “Riders on the Storm” from Jim Morrison’s 1971 studio album “L.A. Woman”]
Many people wrestle with melancholy because everything on earth has an expiration date, our lives included. We all age. Although everything on earth is transitory the Word of God remains. We need to remind ourselves that life in this world is not everything there is; there is more to come; our souls and spirits live on.
In Jesus we matter. He is known to be merciful and has the power to turn our lives around. Even as we age He renews us from the inside, which is why believers know hope. Their dusty frame carries precious cargo: the message of Christ. On this note the apostle Paul wrote [2 Corinthians 4:7]:
If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives.”* [*Bible Translation: The Message]
To be clear: believing in Christ does not exempt us from sadness. It is important to turn our eyes on Jesus and remember: we are loved. The message of Christ Paul refers to in his letter to the Corinthians is the good news of the gospels: Jesus is the Word-made-flesh who moved into the neighborhood and is now in heaven interceding for us. He came to seek and save the lost; those who believe in Him have eternal life.
Movies have been created speaking about time travelers changing the past and thereby changing their future. Although we are no time travelers who can go back to the past and fix things, we have a more powerful tool available: We can change our future when we change our minds.
The invisible, inconceivable, triune Godhead – Three in One – is the greatest mystery of all. Our God is mysterious. So are His children, frail human beings who carry precious cargo: They carry the Son of God inside their hearts. Wherever they go they bring the blessing of Christ.
How can this be? That, my friend, is the same question Mary asked angel Gabriel when he brought the news to her that she will be pregnant with Christ. And his answer was (Luke 1:35):
“The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’”
Mary was the first person who carried the Son of God inside of her – albeit in a physical way. Children of God carry the Son of God in their hearts in a spiritual way, and I believe this is just as real. Thanks to the Holy Spirit human beings are part of God’s mysterious ways.
We can be sidetracked by current events. All through our daily battles it is important to remember that God is with us. It may be tempting to check out – heaven is a wonderful place – but why would we want to miss out on the extraordinary blessings of today? The wonder of God’s kingdom has already begun. The Son of God planted the seed and the tree has been growing exponentially.
Indeed, the arrival of God’s Son has melted the ice. As a result hope dawns in human hearts, and if there is one thing this broken world needs, it is hope. Our human spirits thrive on hope and we can be certain that the Lord won’t give up on us.
God has an exceptional future prepared for this universe. Glorious things are just around the corner. Our present days may be difficult but Christ in us, the hope of glory, keeps us afloat.
Hope is paramount, at least in the eyes of the apostle Paul. As he wrote a letter to his friends in Rome, he introduced God to them as the God of Hope. From Paul’s perspective, hope is one of God’s defining features – and it makes perfect sense because hope is the fuel that runs life’s engine. Giving up hope is similar to suicide. Hope is the underlying reason why we keep trying.
My German grandmother had always kept her dry sense of humor in situations that weren’t funny. She raised three of her five children mostly on her own – initially because her husband was engaged in World War II, later because she divorced him. One of her sayings as her children sat around the dinner table:
“Alles da Nur kein Papa!” which translated means:
“Everything there Just no Dad!”
That was her way of saying: “We’re doing pretty well without him.” My grandmother had guts and spunk. She was one of those people we call in German “Stehaufmännchen” – a tumbler who always gets up. In tough situations she has inspired me to do the same.
However, contrary to my grandmother’s awareness, nobody is fatherless. In the course of my life I have come to know God as the epitome of a parent. God is our Father and He is very protective of us. He cares. We have a place in His heart, and we have a place in this life. To misquote my grandmother: