It’s a rough world out there, isn’t it? I write a lot about pastor failure, pastors falling, the church culture and whatnot. But that doesn’t mean I’m a pessimist.
We do live in a real world with other problems. Gun control, the Benghzi Hearings, the IRS problems, the economy, gas prices. If all of us could sit in a room together, I’m sure we could find a ton of stuff to complain about. I always remain an optimist, believe it or not. Why? Because I believe in the sovereignty of God. I love Habakkuk 3:17-19, with the understanding that it is just part of the whole of the book. (By the way, I always use esv.org for my quotes. Can’t stand the home page, but I love the content. The English Standard Version is free for download to just about any mobile device.)
God is always in control of this world. There is always something to celebrate. Maybe my optimism has something to do with my persistent, outdated postmillenialism. And that’s fine too. I believe that Christ is in total control.
Theology aside, there are a few things that happened this week that you might have missed that might bring you some joy and comfort. Here they are:
First, this item from the Tampa Rays, courtesy of The Big Lead. A little girl hasn’t seen her dad for over a year since he’s been deployed in Afghanistan. She was chosen to throw out the first pitch at a Tampa Rays game (which I must admit, weren’t named after me, but would have been cooler if they were.) Before she threw out the pitch, they showed a video of her dad telling her he would be home soon.
She threw the pitch, and it turned out that the catcher wasn’t a Rays catcher at all. It was, well…just watch the video and grab some kleenex. If you can’t view it there, go to The Big Lead link I provided above. It’s worth your time.
Second, I have an interesting story from the middle east about Colonel Sander’s chicken. Apparently, buckets of KFC are being smuggled by Egyptians into the Gaza Strip for $30 a piece. There is definitely hope for peace in the Middle East. See? All we have to do is rain chicken on them. But the question remains. What do they want? Original? Extra Crispy? Or Grilled? Seriously, if Secretary of State Kerry isn’t looking into this, he’s a fool.
Thirdly, my lovely wife Allison asked me, “Why is a hotel breakfast called a continental breakfast?” I didn’t know. And I know everything. I was dumbfounded. Turns out, the term is derogatory. Check out this page and find why.
Finally, some personal news. I want to tell you that I’ve helped a lot of people in the past month. And that’s been great. But what really filled my soul was when my oldest daughter, Abigail made the praise band at her Christian school. She was nervous because no entering ninth grader ever made it. She’s a piano player and is phenomenal at it. People who know piano tell me that. She is going into it as an alternate, planing second keyboard.
But she came running out of school on Wednesday, eyes bright, smile wide and hugged me. Her life changed that day. The picture on here is the kind of look she had.
No matter which way the world seems to spin, we all have something to be happy about, don’t we? Even if those things in the world which we cannot control impact us, God shines blessings on us – whether it is through the eyes of a little girl who gets to see her dad unexpectedly, people who get to eat chicken again, when we get to understand the meaning of a word for the first time, or we see joy in our children.
The world as we see it portrayed on the news is a farce. It is designed to provoke fear in us. But when we look around to see what God is doing, we see joy. Unbridled. We see Him working all around us.
So I leave you with this – Abigail playing the piano, with nothing but joy: