Sunday, 16 May 2021

Some things are beyond our control

THE events of recent months have reminded us of the limitations of humanity.

Human beings can achieve great things. We have split the atom. We have sent rockets to land on the moon. We have developed medicines to cure illnesses. We have made possible instant communication across the world. And we like to believe that human beings, working together, can do anything. We like to tell our children that they can achieve anything they want to achieve. We make plans and assume that we will be able to carry out our plans.

And then events like those of this year happen and we see that our ability to do whatever we plan to do is limited. How many new ventures that people planned for this year have been unable to be completed?

As I write, many people are coming home early from holidays in Spain or are now unable to go on holiday as they had planned. Plans were made but people are unable to carry out their plans.

How do we respond to situations like this? Often we look for someone to blame. Sometimes when things go wrong someone is responsible but often it is simply that unexpected things have happened, things beyond human control.

In the Bible we find a better way of responding when plans are thwarted. It is to remember our limitations as human beings. It is to remember that we are not ultimately in control of our own lives but that there is one with far more power and wisdom than us who is in control.

In the Bible we read these words: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you.”

This presents a much better way, a way of recognising our limitations but without reason for despair, because we can obtain the help of the One who has no limitations.

The great message of Christianity is that we can know the God who has the limitless power that we often wish we had. We can come to know the one who really does have all things under His control.

Jesus Christ came in human weakness to die in the place of human beings so that we can have our wrongs forgiven and come through him to know the God of almighty strength. The death of Jesus was foretold in the Old Testament, centuries before it happened, showing that God’s plans, unlike so often ours, do come to pass.

The beginning of the Lord’s Prayer speaks of “Our Father in heaven.” Christians have come to know that the One in heaven, who rules over all, is their father. When you come to know this, it gives the starting point for accepting your own weakness and limitations.

You don’t need to be able to solve all problems and you can cope when things don’t go as planned, because you know the one in ultimate control.

At this time, I encourage you to have the humility to recognise our human limitations and to seek to come to know as your father the one who has no such limitations?

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