Times come, and then they go. The shifting of sands amidst the rolling of the tides.
What has been deposited upon your shore this Easter Time? Is it a concern for the Ukrainian people, Aboriginal resolution and dignity; concern for the unborn yet conceived – created; the recovery of our economy; the answer to this inflation, and for that matter, any money problems, or maybe the price and availability of a good home?
Well, I know a woman who is fighting for her life in hospital against cancer, amid concerns of Covid. Then, there is her husband, carrying the load financially, looking for a home within the meagre budget the two share. He prays and seeks to ensure her a safe place to live once she has recovered. He has to go on with this goal at heart. To think there would be no need is unimaginable, and so he continues and prays.
What would you do if you had to face something of this level, while those around are circling the wagons? He’s finding landlord after landlord wants to protect only their own preferences, their desire for “mo money, mo money,” uninterested in the troubles of others.
On the other hand, we’ve seen a great compassionate response toward the Ukrainian war crisis, by individuals, at the hands-on and personally financial levels. What a contrast in society! What a divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots!’ It’s interesting to note, it’s mostly the have-nots, and those who can remember being so, who are giving and working to assist in this raw Ukrainian plight.
Governments have moved exasperatingly slowly. Oh, they’ve added a little milk to the batter with sanctions, a little sugar with diplomacy; and I get that, earlier on. But the record these people have endured has been recently counted back to me.
Between 1932 and 1933, the Soviet Union attempted a genocide of the Ukraine population, known as the Holodomor, killing 3.9 million, 13.3 percent of the ethnic Ukrainians, by forced starvation. It was Joseph Stalin’s attempt to eliminate a Ukrainian independence movement. The forced starvation ended when all the farmland became socialist property, and all farmers worked for the state.
When Hitler attacked the U.S.S.R. during WWII, it was the Ukrainian people, encapsulated within its borders, which suffered a loss of over eight million souls. Compare this to the very real loss, in the same war, of six million targeted Jewish souls, known as the Holocaust! While attacking the dominant Russian core of this Republic, war was forced upon Ukraine. For one, they were geographically in the way, but more importantly, like many of the Allies, they were protective of the very innocent Jewish population struggling to survive as a people. Both peoples were just there, living and wanting to be free, that’s all. No desire to harm others, except maybe the odd prejudice, like we find unfortunately everywhere. But on mass, neither of these peoples, wanted anything, but their rightful homeland, common dignity and acceptance as such.
Now, there’s this Putin predicament with all its atrocities. The repression of free will and elimination of those who would stand and dare to be a human being. But there will be those who will still persist in saying we are healthy, as the human race, and there are no such things as sin or real evil.
Autonomy is something created, given and defended by God Himself. What we do with that autonomy ultimately illustrates what we desire within our hearts. Despite the discomfort of thinking of it, it really comes down to that; the condition of Hell or the rewards of Heaven. This Easter Time is the commemoration of God’s solution for our quandary.
God came to earth, born into the human condition, as the person we know as Jesus Christ, yet was without any of His own sin. Harming no one, not even His own condition, by indulging in the cancerous spread of sin throughout humankind, He had ‘a ticket to ride.’ His kingdom is not from this earth, it is beyond the reach of our spiritual pollution, which so complicates the lives of humankind.
But that wasn’t enough, to come to be part with us, to observe and interact in the perks of life. He, rather, came to enter in, to be part of us in the darkened condition of our lives, and then do something about it.
Sin, which didn’t originate with us, but which has been perpetuated, compounded and spread, has enjoyed the ride.
Jesus Christ died as our substitute for the needful destruction of the power of sin, so as to prevent its further domination of us from within. “So, what of it?” you may say, wondering why you still go under it then.
Hold on, that’s not the whole picture yet. He also rose again to new life, to illustrate His triumph over the power of death and sin. Still, you may ask, “How does this help me, and all the rest who struggle in the ravages of cruelty?”
Here’s where the crux of it is. Because you are autonomous, you need to actually go to God; this is called prayer, and ask Him to bring that victory into your life. It’s an autonomous choice; God has set it up to protect your freedom.
It says in scripture, “I call heaven and earth to testify against you today! I’ve set life and death before you today: both blessings and curses. Choose life, that it may be well with you—you and your children. Deu 30:19 ISV
The condition we must understand is, this intended life is housed within Christ where He protects it, so sin can never pollute that pure nature again. This is why He must enter our hearts and live there. It’s the only way the benefits of a freed life can be shared, as you defer to His guidance and participation in the nature this new life brings to you.
Some may say, “Ya, why would I want God, who allows all this rotten stuff to happen in this world, to live inside me?”
The answer; Even though He prefers what’s right more than we do, He has allowed our response to depend on our choice. The choice to recognize there is something fundamentally wrong with the human spirit. The change to the world happens one heart, one life at a time. If we choose Him, then, He can change things from the inside out. This is called making Him Lord of our life. He respects our free will more than we do. It’s the only way to have the peace we need, amidst the travesties of life.
By the way, statistically, 70 percent of Ukrainians (as of 2018) are of some decidedly Christian denomination. So, like the woman in the hospital and her husband who is seeking a home for them, they too are depending deeply on God, giving their lives in prayer to His mastery, still knowing much depends on the free choice of others, even in these terrible times.
Have a Blessed