DayBreaks for 1/05/17 – Doing Good in a Broken World

DayBreaks for 1/05/17: Doing Good in a Broken World

The late newspaper columnist Mike Royko once shared the other side of the Christmas Story in one of his columns. He told about a stranger who put $1,600 in gold coins in a Salvation Army kettle. The person placed the gift there quietly and anonymously. This is exactly the kind of story the print media is looking for to demonstrate the spirit of caring that Christmas brings about.

Unfortunately there was a follow up story. The local Salvation Army office began getting phone calls about the gold coins. The coins were stolen. The thief had dropped them in the kettle to get rid of them.

So then, Royko told another story about a man driving home from work on Christmas Eve who saw a young boy fall through the ice in a nearby lake. The man stopped his car, jumped out, tore off his jacket and crawled out onto the ice. He managed somehow to save the drowning boy. Happy ending, wouldn’t you say? Unfortunately the man discovered that while he was risking his life saving the boy, somebody in the crowd of onlookers stole his jacket and the envelope containing his Christmas bonus.

Unfortunately, we live in a sinful world. And even at Christmas, with the promise of peace and hope on our lips and in our hearts, that sinfulness is still present. That sinfulness was personified in the first Christmas story by Herod. “Go and search diligently for the child,” Herod said to the wise men. “And when you have found him, come and bring me word, that I may worship him, too.”

It doesn’t take much to get discouraged when you try to do good in a fallen world, does it? Your deeds seem to go unappreciated. Your sacrifices are taken for granted. The things that cost you so much in time and effort and perhaps money may not even be visible to others. And to top it off, people often take advantage of those with big, Christ-shaped hearts.

Does it matter? Sure, it matters. But we must not think that any of the good we do while living in a broken world isn’t worth doing – it is worth doing. And there is always Someone who notices and loves you for what good you are trying to do.

As we are encouraged, …let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. (Gal. 6:9, AMP)

Hang in there! Fight the fight for the good and let the end result and reward be up to God to determine.

PRAYER: We lose heart easily and we crave recognition for what good we do. Let us never forget we labor for You and on behalf of those You love! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 12/12/16 – Headlines in Heaven

DayBreaks for 12/12/16: Headlines in Heaven

“Bombing at Egypt’s main Coptic Cathedral kills 25”

“Amid Aleppo Offensive, IS Recaptures Syria’s Palmyra”

“Turkey Blasts Claimed by Kurdish Militants: Country Mourns”

“At Least 160 dead in Nigerian Church Collapse”

“Orlando marks 6-month anniversary of nightclub massacre”                                                    

Those were among the headlines on Sunday, 12/11, as I was writing this DayBreaks. Was that day unique? No, sadly those headlines could have been written on any day of the week, or perhaps more to the point: on every day of the week. Such are the headlines that comprise our daily earth-bound experience. Why is this the case? It’s for one reason and on reason only: this world is broken and it has been broken since the fall.

As I was pondering that point today, I couldn’t help but think about what the news headlines will be once that Jesus has returned and we are in the new heaven and earth in which righteousness dwells and all that has been broken has been fully repaired. How will that happen, I don’t know how God can make all that is broken whole, how He can undo and erase all the pain and make it right – not just right – but perfected. But I do believe that He will do that somehow, someday.

And when He does, I wonder if we’ll still have news – and if we do, what that news might be like:

“Joy reigns eternal in every portion of the creation”

“Not one person died anywhere today”

“Today, no one had an evil thought or did an evil deed”

“Throughout the universe today, everyone treated others perfectly”

“Peace and love rule the universe”

“Curious fact: no one has aged or got sick in the last ten trillion years”

I can hardly wait for those kind of headlines to be the kind I read.

Even as I long for that, I am struck by the realization that even though such will be headlines only in heaven, that it is we humans who make the headlines here on earth by what we do. That tells me that if I am sick and tired of this broken world, that it is this time-bound world that we have a chance, even now, to create some of those kind of headlines by the things we choose to do or say today. Want some uplifting headlines? Do something good for someone today, and every day, until we read our first set of heavenly headlines!

PRAYER: Jesus, help us be those who contribute to a better set of news headlines tomorrow than we experienced today as we help your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.