This morning my devotional reading pointed out that God always has the final word, and asked where we were looking for that in our lives. Now the thought resonated with me, and I have often reminded my people that God always wins. I like using the analogy of a game with lots of thrills and a constantly changing score. I point out that it is much less stressful to watch such a game when we know what the final score will be.
The problem I had with today’s question was that we don’t know how long the game will last before God wins. Over the course of my time parenting Daughter, there have been moments of deep despair. I am confident that God called me to be her mother, but there have been times when I have wondered why, times when the situation seemed hopeless. At those times, I have often questioned why I was called to this task. I find comfort in my belief that God didn’t call me to this task for it to end in tragedy. That belief has kept me going through some of the more challenging times.
When I read the question this morning, though, my thoughts weren’t first of Daughter. They were of the current mess we find ourselves in with the economy. I’d like to believe that God’s final word of victory with regard to that is coming soon. I’d like to believe that the rescue plan will fix things, or the people who win the election will have all the answers. I don’t think it’s going to be that easy, though. I think we have a lesson to learn in this mess. I think we are learning about the consequences of greed and living beyond our means. I also think there are many who still don’t get it, who still don’t understand how we got into this mess. Until they understand, I don’t think it will be over. Until they acknowledge (and repent) of their part in this mess, I think the mess will continue. In short, I don’t think the game is anywhere close to being over. I also suspect that our idea of a victory in this particular game may be very different from God’s idea of a victory.
I learned from painful experience that carrying balances on credit cards is not a good idea. I learned the importance of living within my means. I learned that I don’t need all the latest gadgets and a closet full of the latest fashions. I don’t think our country has learned that yet. Until we do, the game continues, and there is suffering ahead. I hope we will come to realize that there aren’t any easy answers, or quick fixes, and that all of us are going to have to make sacrifices if we want the current mess fixed. I know that God has the final word, which is a word of hope, and I think there is more suffering ahead before we are able to hear and recognize that hope, which is going to look very different from the way we’ve lived in the past.