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Friday, September 13, 2013

"It will not always be as it is now"

7/18/13 aerial view of Zaatari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan (REUTERS/Mandel Ngan)
In his meditation in the July-August, 2013, issue of "Beside the Still Waters", James Baer tells about a Russian family he visited that had the words "It will not always be as it is now" written in large print on a placard on their dining room wall.

It turns out that many years before the father had spent years in a Soviet prison for refusing to enlist in the army because of what he believed Jesus taught about violence. It was then that the mother had written these words and posted them as a sign of hope for herself and for her children, trusting that one day their father would return and things would be better.

When the father was finally released and life greatly improved, some friends asked why she had not removed those words. Her reply was simply, "Because it's still true that 'It will not always be as it is now'."

Just as people in distress need hope, those of us who are doing well need to learn from history that all nations, economies and cultures rise and fall. We could all face hardships in our lifetimes like those of people in Syria today and in many other trouble spots in the world, past and present.

Or as with the following:

• A major collapse of the worldwide economic system
• Destruction of computer systems on which we have all become extremely dependent
• Major droughts and other weather events associated with climate change that could result in severe shortages of water and food
• Massive assaults by terrorists or by nations with atomic and other weapons

Meanwhile, we need to have a heart that suffers with those already experiencing devastation and do everything possible to help them, just as we would have others do to us if we were in similar straits.
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