Sweden’s south has been battered by severe storms of cyclone proportions for the last few days. The newspaper today revealed that three have lost their lives in the last 24 hours, including an 8 year old boy, who was hit by a falling tree as he and his father rode past on a moped. No-one was at fault; he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. His father was only slightly injured.
Meanwhile, a 16 year old boy in Sydney’s west died over the weekend after having been bitten by a brown snake in the bush. He was with a friend and they apparently walked from the place where the poisoning occurred toward a sports field, where he collapsed, pale and bleeding from the gums. He died the next day despite all the efforts of doctors and intensive care.
The university town of Armidale, just an hour away from Tamworth, has been rocked by the murder last week of an 82 year old war veteran, who was apparently decapitated by his assailant. The motive is unknown, the police apparently have no leads, and the local community is living in fear of “a killer on the loose”.
Even in the peaceful parts of the world where we have lived these last few years there are no guarantees in life. We lived on a ship for two years, with some time in Sierra Leone after the civil war, and then we accepted that there were dangers inherent in what we had decided to do. But somehow in our comfortable western environment we get lulled into the belief that we are safe and secure, which is clearly not true. Terrible things happen, even here, and we need some way of coming to terms with that.
For me the only workable safety net is the one that I find in faith in God. The belief that this life is not all there is, but that there is a reality that is beyond the temporal world around us. Some would say this is just a psychological construct to enable me to get through life without despair. Well I guess it is that. But I do not believe it is one we humans have created for ourselves. I believe rather that this is something revealed to us by an all powerful creator God who wants to involve himself with us, and wants us to know the truth about the universe. The whole thing hangs on the man, Jesus, who was and is God with us, Immanuel, who tells us about the Father, the Creator, in a way that we can see, and feel and hear.
Jesus does not guarantee that we will escape the apparently growing dangers inherent in this world. But he does say, “I am with you always.” There is nothing better that I could want than to know that the uncertainties of this life I face with the Creator God by my side…