Scripture Reading — Psalm 23
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1 —
Last night I watched the movie Life Is Beautiful; it won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film a few years ago. It was a comedy-drama set against the backdrop of the terrible Holocaust of World War II. In it a Jewish-Italian man, Guido, tries to help his son survive in a concentration camp by saying that everything is only a game, and if they try hard enough they will win the grand prize: a real, life-size tank to ride home on. Guido was killed just before the Germans were defeated, but his son survived and did ride on an Allied tank to safety.
Of course, this story is a fantasy of the writer. But even in real life there are times when we retreat into fantasy because life is just too difficult. But we cannot live in a fantasy world forever.
After Paris was liberated by the Allies during World War II, the following inscription was found in an underground cellar in the city:
I believe in the sun even when it is not shining,
I believe in love even when not feeling it,
I believe in God even when He is silent.
The person who inscribed those words, like Corrie ten Boom, who also lived through World War II, did not live in a fantasy world. They knew that the enemy was really ferocious but that God was mightier; life was too difficult to bear, but God was never far away.
Jesus, at times the situation is so bad that we feel hopeless and want to give up. Help us to tackle it head-on by drawing strength from you and from your people. Amen.