Saturday, March 27, 2010

Double, double, toil and trouble

3:45 p.m. Today's project was to take my grandson Xavier to Long Beach to see a community theater production of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Steve and I were invited by my daughter-in-law Marisela and our son Kriss. Since I wouldn't be comfortable leaving Adrian and Xavier alone while we're so far away, and Xavier loves to act in school plays, Steve will stay behind with Adrian. It's a nice outing for me, too. As an English literature major, I've read all of Shakespeare with great enjoyment, many more times than once!

The scene where three witches stir their cauldron and chant, "Double, double, toil and trouble," makes me think of a truth of scripture, Job 14:1: "Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble."

We can all vouch for the myriad troubles that plague us: errant children, bodily aches and pains--not limited to arthritic middle-aged folk, because our Marisela is suffering from a bad toothache as I write this--financial worries, career demands, an uncertain economy, feelings of insecurity, fear, or loneliness. We are human, limited to relatively few years, not one of them characterized by 365 days of sunshine and peace!

In the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are murdering conspirators who face inevitable destruction--that's what you get for fooling around with witches and demonic forces! Plays and novels tend to wrap up with criminal usurpers punished and neat, morally satisfactory endings. The Bard's plot twists and ironies make him the greatest writer in the English language. Good triumphs over evil every time, framed in magnificent verse!

Our lives' plots don't always wrap up so neatly or within two and one-half hours, do they? I have prayed for the salvation of loved ones for years, sharing Christ continuously, with no evidence of interest on their part. A preschooler is murdered in gang crossfire through a window in his own home. A once-adorable grandson steals his grandpa's rifles, commits a series of crimes, and goes to prison. A most wonderful couple cannot have children, despite years of treatments. Alzheimers has instutionalized my brother-in-law, and robs my husband of mental ability daily. Why, Lord? Why aren't the godly and innocent rewarded and the wicked punished right now?

Our viewpoint is so limited, while God's viewpoint is infinite. " 'My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.' " (Isaiah 55:8-9) Sometimes I think, "Why do we even have free will? Wouldn't it be better if we couldn't act on our selfish desires? God could have had all men follow Him!"

God in his wisdom gave us the choice to follow Him. True to His promises, and to our delight, He guides, comforts and gives us abundant life through the Holy Spirit who indwells the born again believer. Jesus said, "These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

Both joy and justice can be experienced in this world, but not perfect joy and justice. And certainly peace on this earth is a condition to be hoped and prayed for! The only perfect peace we will experience without any tinge of sorrow or unfairness will be in the arms of Jesus, for eternity.

That is the assurance possessed by believers in Jesus Christ! Do you have that assurance?

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