I read the news today, oh boy… How do you get your daily news fix? Do you start your day with The Today Show or Good Morning America? Do you find The Skimm in your inbox? Or maybe a podcast summary and analysis? Do you actually touch and read a newspaper, that old-fashioned printed piece that appears in your yard early each morning? Do you count on hearing from co-workers around the “water cooler?” Or, like Millennials, Gen-Xers, and a growing number of Boomers, do you check headlines on your Twitter feed before your feet hit the floor in the mornings?
Regardless of your preferred source, the news we consume each day isn’t overly uplifting. In fact, it’s rather depressing, isn’t it?
The popular Beatles’ lyric, above, can now be read or sung with more exasperation – and even desperation – than ever before. Consider the top stories that seem to dominate the media, in news, weather and sports –
- The economy is up and down, and then up and down again…but, seemingly, more down than up.
- Horrific mass shootings are more prevalent than ever imagined.
- The terrorism threat continues to gain ground, as new groups emerge almost daily.
- Shootings of and by law enforcement officers seem to be commonplace.
- The European refugee crisis is overwhelmingly sad and frightening.
- The same-sex marriage debate escalates and divides.
- Our country is besieged by flooding, fires, tornadoes, blizzards, and global warming.
- Sports even make the news in ways that don’t stir up our team spirit, as we hear about doping scandals, personal violence and sexual assault.
- And then there’s the Election. Heaven help us.
Bad News Travels Fast
And what about today’s headlines? Seriously, take a look at what I found on NBCnews.com, just for today, March 9, 2016:
- A Massive explosion has rocked Seattle.
- A Deadly storm churns across the country.
- A Quadruple homicide suspect is found hiding in a ditch.
- Violence continues to flare in Israel, including the death of an American student during Biden’s visit. By the way, remember him? Joe Biden? Vice President Biden?
- A Pastor was shot after praying at a Ted Cruz rally, with the suspect arrested at the White House.
- North Korea is bragging about their warheads.
- Jurors found that the online sharing of the Erin Andrews nude-in-her-hotel-room video has caused her $55 Million worth of suffering.
- And, perhaps worse of all, there’s an olive oil shortage!
Honestly, when I settle down with my coffee and settle in for my weekend dose of The Today Show, I now look forward to the feature segments more than ever. I never thought I’d be so excited over, say, a dog with a prosthetic leg, or the latest exploits of little Prince George of Cambridge!
The News Gets Personal
There’s also news that’s personal to all of us, way more deeply troubling than the myriad overshares we see on Facebook (note – we don’t care to know about the bowel habits of your children, or see the fungus on your toe!).
- There’s an alarming number of dear friends and family receiving cancer diagnoses.
- Children are hospitalized with serious illnesses, including my own grandson just two days ago. (He’s home and fine now!)
- How about parents and grandparents suffering with forms of dementia, and especially those stricken way too young?
- Overwhelming anxiety is ruling the day. And our lives. Seriously.
- What do we make of rapidly changing moral standards in this world that’s inhabited by our children and grandchildren?
- And did I mention the upcoming Election?...
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh
Unlike the continuation of the Beatles’ song lyrics, not many of us are laughing.
This litany of sadness, found in all sources of headlines and infiltrating our personal lives, portends the heightening brokenness of our world.
That’s it, that’s the Hope.
When our minds and hearts are spiraling to new depths of discouragement, this simple but profound phrase found hundreds of times in the Bible re-calibrates our perspective, and restores our faith.
For a moment, consider the immense richness found in Ephesians 2 –
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us…made us alive together with Christ…seated us with him in the heavenly places…so that he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us…by grace you have been saved…which God prepared beforehand.
In the wake of all manifestations of evil, as seen in the headlines and experienced in our lives…God’s got this. His sovereignty rules over all (Psalm 103:19). He rescues us from this present evil age (Gal. 1:4)
Even over the olive oil crisis (Habakkuk 3) –
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
Because God said it, you can take that Good News to the bank.
Or, as Walter Cronkite would say,
Mr. Steve Wilson is the Director of Advancement at Lakeland Christian School. To reach Steve, you may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.