This idea is not original with me. For the last couple of Fridays, the radio station I listen to in the mornings has declared themselves to be C_ _ _ _ _ _ 9 free zones. They “bleep” out words like v _ _ _ _, or the longer version of that word C_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. Of course, the humour is in doing the “bleeping” so those words pop up frequently just so the morning show guy can bleep it out. It makes for a fun Friday, with a not-so-subtle note of “sticking it to the C _ _ _ _ _ _ 9 man.”
I appreciate the effort to refocus our attention on other issues. There is more to life than C _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. It is hard to remember that because almost everything in our daily routines has been disrupted. Almost everything.
We still have our relationships with family, friends, neighbours, and co-workers. They are just expressed differently. We still go about the necessities of life - grocery shopping for example. We just do it differently. We still fill our days with activities, just different ones. We still have routine - it’s just a different routine.
Jim, my friend and fellow pastor in Ecuador, used to say, “God controls the taps.” It was a reference to the number of times God reminds His people that even the weather patterns are subject to His authority. From the time of Adam and Eve through to the Apostle Paul and beyond, people lived in agrarian cultures. Reliable cycles of rain and sun without pestilence was essential to survival. When your very life depends on the weather, it is tempting to begin to worship the sun and rain, to fear the thunder and lightening, and to pacify the insect gods of pestilence.
Words Matter. Routines have changed, but God has not. He is still engaged. He still holds all authority. He is still the one true God. There Is No Other. I am grateful that no one in my sphere of family and friends has battled this v _ _ _ _. I have not had to grieve a death or watch helplessly as someone I love suffers. There are a lot of people around us that have. I’m not living a better or protected life. I can’t explain why some are walking that dark road and I am not. I only know that God is faithful to all of us regardless of our journey. Should He place this burden - or one of another type - on any of us, we can still be assured that He is God and His purposes will not be thwarted.
Unchanged. The techno-speak theologians use for that quality of God is “Immutable.” Addressing a church facing aggressive hostility because of their faith, the author of Hebrews wrote:
“So we can say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? . . . Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!”
(Heb 13:6-8 NET)
It is only Wednesday, but let’s make it a C _ _ _ _ _ _ 9 worry-free day. God is not uninformed. He has not disengaged. He is unchanged. Immutable. Great is His faithfulness!