Genesis 1:30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.
Bamboo for pandas, flowers for honey bees, algae for sea urchins, and a wide variety of grasses for a host of mammals–every species had its supply of food, none going without. They lived without fear of want or fear of attack, free to frolic and explore and play. They were carefree.
That is not our world today. We try to provide safety and sustenance for our children, but they soon discover on their own how dangerous the world can be to their bodies and hearts, many of their wounds coming from us, their caregivers. Jesus calls us to be carefree like the sparrows that his Father feeds, but he also promises a lifetime of tribulation. How do we make sense of that? In this world where many die of starvation, where many watch their children die for lack of basic medicine, where the poor are daily trampled by the powerful, what can we hope for? We have no guarantee of our physical safety or even survival. Our souls may be traumatized and our hearts broken.
But the eternal flame God has placed in our hearts cannot be snuffed out. His life in us is unbreakable, and he will keep us to the end. We can trust not only that good will finally and completely triumph, but that we ourselves will live in the joy of that new age when sighing and sadness are finally assuaged in the comfort of his loving embrace. That hope is our candle in this present darkness. All suffering here is temporary as we await our final redemption, and we reach out our hands to fellow-sufferers on this journey to comfort one another, for mutual brokenness opens the way to the deepest bonds.
Father teach me to live in the light of your eternal love and the assurance that my hope will one day be satisfied so richly that the sorrows of this life will be forgotten like a passing dream.