“If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.”
It was a beautiful day. The morning sun shone brightly on a tidy, Parisian neighborhood where a little boy was playing in his yard. His mother and father sat on the veranda, sipping coffee as the boy ran back and forth with a large, red helium-filled balloon tied to his wrist with a long string. Nearby an old woman was crossing the street, heading home after her daily trip to the market. She heard the sound of a child laughing and saw a red balloon floating high above the ivy-covered wall that surrounded the house. Smiling, she paused to take in the moment. Just then, a truck rounded the corner and ran her over.
The problems and inconsistencies of life can often result in a reluctance to face the future with confidence. This can be especially true when hindsight reveals that what appeared to be an innocent choice, resulted in dire, unintended consequences. At such times it is a comfort to remember that in baptism God has given us the Holy Spirit, so that our lives may be lived in the confidence of faith and not the certainty of sight – or hindsight.
God sees the beginning from the end. He is never at a loss as to what to do next. The marvels of creation and the abundance of God’s providential direction of human history testify to the infinite wisdom with which He guides and orders all things. Time and time again the Scriptures reveal the profound depth of God’s engagement with all of life. His purposes alone are sure and unwavering. This knowledge can give us the courage to take hold of life and leave the final outcome of our decisions in the hands of God – all of which must be held in His forgiveness.
Some times we can overlook what a tremendous blessing this is. For who among us could bear to face even another hour, knowing what tragic, unintended consequences have been born from our thoughts, words and actions?
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”