My head and heart have a range of things jostling this week. I hesitate to watch the news. China and America have signed the Paris Agreement but violence and unrest continue across the globe. Does anyone trust their leaders? It’s tempting to be cynical. Human trafficking is the new world crime, taking over from drugs as children are kidnapped and sold for the sex ‘industry’. Lord have mercy!
I keep my head down in my part time job, privately sorrowing over friends whose marriage is struggling, others facing illness and someone who has died alone far from home in whose funeral I may participate.
The girls ring from holiday, full of youthful sunshine and rollercoasters. My wife and I gratefully celebrate our wedding anniversary with a shared chocolate brownie at a late night coffee shop in Belfast. My home city has seen much renewal since my childhood days of Troubles and bombs. We attend a wonderful evening of Christian music in the Waterfront Hall with the Gettys backed by the New Irish Choir, Youth Choir and Orchestra.
During the evening we’re shown an old picture of a young boy, all but destitute in the Dominican Republic who is now a doctor because someone refused to give in to despair and sponsored his education. There is hope, if we choose to believe.
The A21 Campaign estimates twenty seven million people worldwide are in some form of slavery yet remains committed to rescuing them all, one precious human being at a time.
Like Old Testament character Job, we may question God with the apparent injustices of this present life. Like the Psalmist we may cry out with painful prayers of frustration. But we refuse to be enslaved by resentment, fear or despair.
As those who trust in the Good Shepherd Who laid down His life that we might live eternally, we choose to practice faith in His grace. As those promised resurrection, we choose to hope in better to come. As those touched and saved and renewed by the mercy of the Saviour we choose to show love in His name.
A friend asked me this week, ‘Have you found contentment?’ to which I replied, ‘I choose to be content.’
I grieve over the state of the world, and in honesty over the at times less-than-perfect state of myself. But I am comforted and find rest in the goodness and blessing of my Lord. In His service, showing kindness to others I find happiness and great contentment.
I choose to be hopeful.