In the Book of Common Prayer it says, “Heaviness may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
But is that so for us? We have been let down by political leaders, religious leaders, institutions, perhaps even members of our families. We have all been frustrated to one degree or another. We’ve heard it before – from Yeats in “The Second Coming”: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.”
We need to hear words of comfort. Yet, wait, the center does hold! In the beginning, God! And God is still there. Still here.
As Frederick Buechner has written: “By grace, we see what we see. To have faith is to respond to what we see by longing for it the rest of our days; by trying to live up to it and toward it through all the wonderful and terrible days; by breathing it in like air and growing strong on it; by looking to see it again and see it better.”
I remember once sitting in my office early one cold winter morning and thinking I was abandoned and saw no way out of a very tough professional predicament. Then, the answer came clearly as I stared across my desk – “I am with you. Just as I was when I served manna to the Israelites. I may not get you out of the desert, but I am with you. You WILL get through it. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
It wasn’t the sweet “Jesus Loves You,” but a more honest “Amazing Grace.” “‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.”
“If God is for us, who is against us? … Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Peace.