Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Best of Times; the Worst of Times

It was the best of times……being with my family here in Austin over the last several weeks and having my oldest grandson, Braden and sweet wife, Ruth, here over the last several days made it even more special. There was laughter, reminiscing, big brother and little brothers rough-housing, sweet moments when our Bryson asked Ruth to help with his anatomy science work, and she did, building mousetrap cars, great dinners out and in, attending church together, along with serious conversations about the future. Though they plan on waiting for at least two years to start their family, Braden and Ruth talked a lot about the baby they will have one day, and Bryson, rather Uncle Bryson (our 10 year old), announcing that he will be the favorite uncle. LOL! Not one time in all the sweet times together did we talk about the worst of times, in our country, around the world or in any other situation.

I had to look up those words “the best of times and the worst of times” and found that Charles Dicken’s classic work, “A Tale of Two Cities” begins with those words….”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness...." The French revolution had brought the worst of times and the best of times to both France and England. Dicken’s words were truly descriptive of the mood of the world. In many ways we know what it is to experience the best times in our lives and our world, and at the same time, and in other ways, the worst of times.

Here’s the best news EVER! God’s "Good News" is greater than the world’s bad news. John the Apostle described Christ’s coming as light coming into the darkness, and he said that the darkness could not extinguish it. It could not conquer it, or overpower it. Darkness is simply the absence of light. All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish a single candle. God’s light has come into the world to overcome the darkness, and the darkness is helpless against it. Light is greater than darkness and God’s "Good News" is always greater than the world’s bad news. No comparison!

If we only paid attention to the news or social media, we’d think there was only darkness in the world — only bad news. But if we would meditate on the "best of times" in our lives as well as start our day reading the Good News, our mind would be filled with good and the 6 pm evening bad news could not overcome it. We say with Paul, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57. Here's the promise we have from God: “Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” 1 John 5:4)

We have to be talking about good news and looking for good news if we are going to find good news. We have to believe that God brings the best of times in the middle of the worst of times. We have to receive the good news into our heart and make it a part of our life.

It's easy to live in the darkness. We can live as though there is no good news — only bad. Like Darth Vader, we go over to the dark side. We can live with anger and negativism. We can give in to pessimism and despair. We can look for the worst, and fail to believe the best. The power of darkness can seem so strong at times. It appears to be all around us. Everyone seems to be giving into it, and we feel overwhelmed and alone. But these are the words of our "BEST OF TIMES" Lord: John 8:12 “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."

Two teams are playing in this world. One is all about darkness, and the other is all about light. One is all about bad news, and the other is all about good news. We know which one will win, and that's the team I'm on. That is good news.....AND....the best of times!