Times - Don Riddle

Times

 

The present times: “ the sigh of a world that has everything to live with and nothing to live for”.

 

Times when looking back: “You who are having a rough time are called to teach the rest of us what the Scriptures mean and how they are to be faced. You, more than the theologians and preachers, are the true interpreters. In you we see the texts confronted by brave and glorious hearts, and suddenly the written Word of God becomes more clear, because, in you, the Word of God has become flesh again.”

 

“I'm talking about the times when life is pressing down on you, when your heart's breaking, when people are being mean and your soul needs a little something extra. Just when you need it, there's an arm around your shoulder, someone strokes your hair, a letter comes out of the blue, a loved one recovers from illness, a phone call cheers you, a whispered and genuine apology makes the sun shine again, a fear finally dissolves. All are tugs on the line---God letting you know he's around. That little something extra enables you to press on joyfully. Or, if not filled with joy, at least, helped by the knowledge that you are seen and cared for.”

 

Times recorded for us: “We sometimes face difficulties but none more difficult than what our Master faced. The voices raised against our hope are no stronger than those that mocked the Christ as he hung on the cross(“He trusted in God. Let's see if God will deliver him”). The powers that stand shoulder to shoulder against us are no more entrenched or powerful than those that plotted and executed their cruelty against Jesus. So Christ's victory is our assurance, our ground for hope: ”In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”. To know he had done it lifts the heart. To know he has done it for us lifts the heart even further.” “Which of you, having made some wise, major sacrifices on behalf of those you love---which of you, seeing their usefulness and peace---regrets the price you had to pay? Doesn't your joy obliterate all regret? (Is this why a passage seems to speak of the Cross as the “joy set before” Jesus?)

 

And at the end times: “ Isn't it wonderful of God to take something just before it dies and make it so beautiful?”, the daughter said as she gazed at the fallen leaves. “Wouldn't it be nice”, the mother mused, “if he did that with people?” The younger woman looked at the stooped, white-haired figure before her and said so softly that she thought no one else heard, “Sometimes he does.”

 

Selected quotes from Jesus, Hero of Thy Soul by Jim McGuiggan

 

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