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The Melting Candy Bar of Hope

August 1st, 2008

Focus Text: Psalm 46: 6-7 (NKJV)

6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
         He uttered His voice, the earth melted. 
 7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
         The God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah  


Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

Laura is constantly accusing me of being uninformed.  What she means is that sometimes I’m a few days behind on major world events.  It’s not that I don’t watch the news, it’s just that sometimes the news isn’t the most enjoyable thing to take in.

Car bombs.  Terrorist threats.  Labor strikes.  Economic recession.  Political attack ads.  Missing children. Spouses murdering spouses.  School shootings.  Educational mediocrity.  Abuse.  Neglect.  Death. Catastrophe.  Hunger.  High gas prices and low self-esteem.  Divorce rates soaring and marriages plummeting.  

Yikes!  This is the world that we live in.  A world of chaos.  A world with desperate needs and ugly headlines.  Sometimes, just a drive through downtown Nashville can send my mind reeling, exasperated by the conditions of a hurting humanity.  Bringing a new daughter into this world doesn’t always inspire confidence because I’m acutely aware that this world isn’t getting better; it’s in decline.

Sounds encouraging, eh?  In all seriousness, sometimes the condition of the world can really get to you. Do you think it’s simply coincidence that the instances of depression, suicide, and life-crippling anxiety disorders are at a historic all-time  high?  People have let the pace of the modern world and the state of the modern culture implant feelings of worry and fear in the very core of their individual being.

Got to make it to school on time!  Got to get my report to my boss done!  Got to balance my checkbook! Got to avoid the traffic jam!  Got to make the grade!  Got to make this marriage work!  Got to pay the overdue bill!  Got to . . . 

Add to these things the current affairs of the international arena– of terrorists, wars, nuclear threats, and global economic panic– and you’ve got a recipe for an ulcer the size of North Dakota!

Now that you’re thoroughly invigorated and ready to face life with a fresh step and a sweet song, let’s flip the coin and look at the other side.  Psalm 46 speaks to these issues describing “raging nations” and “moving kingdoms.”  Apparently the sentiments of the modern age aren’t all new- society has had these issues going back to the times of antiquity.  In other words, a nasty world is a present reality that we all must face.  We can’t avoid it.  We can try to change the channel, but it doesn’t make it go away.  Sooner or later, we must face the global crises that saturate our little spinning sphere with hopelessness and anxiety.

Consider this truth: “I can’t control how much I live in the world, but I can control how much of the world lives in me.”  To face the darkness is a necessity; to overcome the darkness with light is another feat altogether.

The rage of the nations and the conditions of the society we live in are screaming a message of hopelessness in our ears.  If we listen too closely, then the condition of the outside world will become the condition of the little world within us.  Ah, but scripture tells us that another voice is speaking simultaneously, “melting the earth.”  The idea of melting the earth sounds kind of heavy– like the earth is a candy bar that we forgot was in our pocket on a hot, summer day.  The context of this scripture is definitely one of divine power– that God can speak at any moment and . . . poof . . . we’re a liquified Baby Ruth! 

But consider another idea: if the news of the earth that is repeatedly spoken in our ears has caused the negative condition of the world to be established in our hearts, then the voice of the Lord can also “melt the earth” within us.  Melting the world without- melting the world within.  His words spoken in the darkness of this world’s condition are the very pyros of hope that spring forth in glorious flame to dissolve the hopelessness and rekindle the light of eternity that has already been ignited within us.

We don’t have to let the bleakness of what is happening around us make our souls bleak as well.  Why? Because we’re listening to another channel . . . another voice . . . whispering in our ears.  The nature of a whisper requires closeness to be heard.  That’s why this Psalm again returns to the concept that God is present in our trouble– near to us– not far away.  “The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.” 

Just imagine that God is close enough to you that the breathy whisper of His voice makes your skin shutter- that goosebumps cannot contain the gentle magnitude of His divine undertone.  That’s how effective His voice is.  Sure, He can melt the earth around us with His words if He wants to; but in this moment, He has chosen to melt the gloom within us instead.  Open up your ears . . . and your heart . . . and listen for the voice that can produce flowing rivers of chocolate from the world’s despair.

Sounds delicious to me.





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