I can remember when I was a boy, my mother would let me, my two brothers, and my friends get on our bicycles and we would ride around the area all day long it seemed. Having a multi-speed bicycle meant you really had something of which to be proud and we were glad to get anything because it was all better than walking. We would ride for miles away from our homes in our little pack. We never encountered anyone that we had to flee from or be afraid of being near to us. Across the road and up in the woods, we used our hatchets and cut down small trees and built our own little cabin to camp inside. We would find four trees arranged as close to a square as possible and then nail our trees up the side to make the walls. The roof and door were to us the complicated things to build. All of this was done on someone else’s land who never cared nor worried that a lawyer ever be a problem from someone getting upset. There was trust and faith in others that was present because we hadn’t had it dashed to pieces yet.
I feel really sorry for those children who grow up never having a chance to exist in an innocent time. I think that those days are less and less today. Parents of today can hardly afford to let their guard down for a moment because of fear of who lurks around the corner. Children are kept close at hand at all times. For those who just want to be nice to a child, there is this immediate reaction on the part of others to be suspicious and looking for evil intentions on the part of the person just trying to be kind. A child can brighten someone’s day and make them feel happy in a world full of turmoil, but this blessing is taken from others outside of the child’s family now because of fear. The children are even told of all this possible evil that might befall them and are left with anxiety in its place.
In days past, that are not too long ago, I can remember when the local newspaper would come in the afternoon and the 6 p.m. evening news for thirty minutes would suffice for us to know what was happening. It wasn’t as if everyone had their heads in the sand and blindly trusted those around them, but there was a trust of others based upon our upbringing and what happened that we could see in our own environment. During the days in which we are living now that is increasingly less local, one news article after another tells us repetitively, like a machine gun in rapid fire, of what is happening around us all of the time. Instead of us knowing what we need to function in our immediate surroundings, we are flooded with information that we have to sift through and decide whether it impacts us or not and then decide how we are going to respond. What we receive in the form of news is intended to cause us to have more of response than is typical for most of our reactions during our waking hours. How we respond to this barrage of information overload is crucial to our health, physically and spiritually, and to our community, to our nation, and to our world. We all do influence each other more than we think we do.
We humans are short-sighted even at our best and too quickly what has happened to God. The author of Psalm 89 had to understand that and wondered if God had hidden Himself. He reminded God that his days were short and was feeling that life was futile. He wanted God to remember him in the face of enemies that surrounded him and appeared to have the upper hand. Going into Psalm 90, we again read that we have to number our days, but read that if we do, we may gain a heart of wisdom (verse 12). When God’s compassion and mercy come to us, we are satisfied and able to rejoice because we work for not the temporal, but the eternal with God establishing what we do that really matters. Psalm 91 tells us that God is our Protector and we can depend upon Him to deliver us. In Psalm 92, there is praise for God’s goodness. Thanks to God in spite of what we see and what we experience is always followed by the recognition in Psalm 93 of the fact that the Lord does reign. There is a turn around in thinking from Psalm 89 to Psalm 94 where we read now of the certainty of God’s justice.
Instead of seeing only ruin coming upon our nation and evil flourishing around us, letting anxiety become a greater problem and having innocence replaced with fear, we have to remember whose children we are and He has not forgotten, nor is He asleep, nor does He have His attention turned to other matters. Those who serve the one, true God, will never be disappointed in the end, nor do we have to be overcome in the present. We can rejoice and be glad now because of the hope that we have ahead of us during trying times. We can know that God will protect us as we seek to accomplish His will for our lives. If we truly have the faith to know these things, we will be able to fly as the eagle because God will give us the strength to soar above it all and be more than conquerors for Him. Satan will win some battles here and there, but the war has already been won by Jesus Christ. Nothing will ever change that! We have to remember this, and remember it well.