Sometimes I think I follow the stock market just for the entertainment. This week it was very entertaining. 25,766 (2/27) … 25,409 (2/28) … 26,706 (3/2) … 25,917 (3/3) … 27,090 (3/4) … these are the closings, I think. This after reaching a record high of 29,551 on February 12. I am thinking this is something like over a 6% gain after a nearly 15% loss. I wonder what next week will bring – Crazy!
I may be a little off, but it seems like a couple days before the Dow closed at its record high, there were eight candidates competing for the Democratic presidential nomination. Then one dropped out, then a couple days ago three more suspended their campaigns … and yesterday one more. That leaves three … or two, depending upon the person talking (and one who dropped out was still advertising on TV last night!). I have also heard people speculate that the nominee will be “none of the above,” but rather a surprise “pop-up” at the end … like Hilary Clinton … or Michelle Obama … or ??? Crazy, Crazy!
The Tigers scored 13 runs on Wednesday (5 solo homeruns) and 11 on Monday, and 10 the day before. The Spartans were down by 19 points to Penn State before cutting it to 15 at halftime. But, when the game ended, MSU’s 79 points bested the Nittany Lions by 8. That same night Rutgers beat the first place Terrapins by 11! Now there are four teams tied for first (6 losses each) entering the last week of the season. Crazy! Crazy! Crazy!
However, compared to the craziness of St. Paul’s life, I will take this any day. Paul writes, “Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” (2 Corinthians 11.24-27) Now that, if you ask me, is truly crazy!
What kept Paul from going crazy was knowing the truth of the promises of his God … like the words of David, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40.1-3) And the same thing continues to work today. God’s power is in his promises … and it is unleashed in our lives as we ‘read, mark, learn and inwardly digest’ them.
Now, I realize that my illustrations of craziness are minor compared to tornadoes, viruses and pandemics. These are more life or death issues like Paul faced. Yet, living in the powerful promises he was able to say, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4.12-13) And so can we.
God’s promises are not silly, though they are strange and outlandish. They stand out in a world filled with craziness … some life-threatening … some entertaining … some confusing. They stand out because they give us something firm to stand upon … so I’ll give you one more directly from the Promised One. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14.27)
Now that’s a crazy I want to live with every day!