Life is Not a Gamble

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I’ve been watching the news lately filled with so many crisis points it could almost make you fearful for the future. I was especially touched by the poignant pictures taken by passengers before they boarded Flight MH 17 and the comment by one Dutch couple, “Here is what the plane looks like if it should disappear.” They had no way of knowing how ironic this picture and caption would be. The plane didn’t disappear but all 298 lives on board are gone from this earth. Lives forever shattered for families who will never see their loved ones again. The tragedy is overwhelming.

For the Christian, however, we know our days are in God’s hands. Psalm 139:16 tells us, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Our lives are not a gamble and they are not left to fate. God knows every breath we will take and when our last breath will be. There is nothing we can do to change the course of our life. But…and this is a BIG but…we can live each day of our lives making our world a better place and living the way God would have us live. This brings meaning not only to our lives but to the people around us. What impact can we have? What change can we bring? How can we make life more meaningful for others?

Someone told me the other day, “You’re just living to die.” I found that statement so sad and heartbreaking. We aren’t living to die but we are living to make a difference in our world. And death isn’t the end, as some would believe, but it is the path into a more glorious existence if we have trusted God and accepted his gift of salvation. Life isn’t fatalistic, it is fantastic! Every moment may be laid out for us but what are we doing with each moment? Waiting to die or living?

Live in Peace

So, the news came across yesterday with the announcement Israel had begun a ground offensive in the Gaza strip. For weeks, since the tragic murder of the three Israeli boys and the one Palestinian teenager, tensions had been escalating with missiles being fired by both sides. Then, the horrible news of the poor little boys on the beach who were killed by shrapnel from incoming rockets. One tragedy on top of another building a bigger wall of hatred and animosity. My mind was brought to the verse Psalm 122:6, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”. Jerusalem today is a mix of Jews and Arabs who live in a tenuous relationship with each other. Now, with the heightened military offensives peace seems illusive.

It was interesting I received in the mail today two copies of the magazine “Purpose” which contained an article I written for them, “Live in Peace”. The story was about my grandson who learned a basic lesson about living in peace when confronted with another child who was antagonistic and mean. God tells us to live a life of peace as much as it is possible. We look at situations around us which are unjust and people who are downright mean and we ask, “How can I live a life of peace?” Sometimes, it means we take the first step in spite of the other person’s attempts to create chaos.

A peaceful life begins with one person. I have to learn to live a peaceful life and not get upset every time someone steps on my toes or says an unkind word. I need to reach out to a person who may appear to be hateful and cruel and offer my hand of friendship. Peace is not an illusive thing but it is hard at times. God will give us the strength we need if we pray to live peaceful lives.

Live in Peace