Albert Einstein asked about the universe: Is the universe a friendly place? Is it full of wonderful things waiting for us to claim them and enjoy them? Or do we have to fight and struggle for everything we need to make our lives feel fulfilled?
I wonder how this question works as a sounding board for our lives in a congregation or simply in our own homes. If I trust that the goodness and mercy of God accompany me in life so that I can confidently declare that I shall dwell in the house of the Lord, then I hope I could look for days to be a friendly place. On the other hand I know I live in a sinful world in which daily broken moments demonstrate to me how I live in fear of one more thing falling apart.
I am not sure how I live. Do I live in the confidence of the goodness and mercy of God? Do I live in fear with fight and struggle to make sure I have seized the marrow from every moment?
I want to live in joy and generosity. The blessings of God abound in ways beyond my imagination. The sinfulness of this world and the wily ways of the devil prowling around to devour me cause me to have some caution. Jesus told his followers, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)
The promise of the goodness and mercy of God following me all the days of my life provides me with a boldness that I should not expect from this sinful world. Is the home or congregation a friendly place or a place to fight?
Without God, the answer to this question is much easier to answer. I will fight for my own self-interest.
With God the answer becomes more defined by faith in the promise of God’s presence. I will generously look for God’s work in this world redeeming us to be His Holy people.
To believe in God during these anxious days will involve trust that God can be counted on to bring about His goodness and mercy in such a way that I will dwell in His house. When the fight seems lost and all is being taken away, we can have faith in God to deliver yet still His resurrection into our days.
With faith in God, I will trust that in all circumstances His glory will be revealed. I will lean into the world being a friendlier place with God.