Banner-Donatists.jpg

Sunlit Kingdom -- Life like we make it

Sunlit Kingdom -- Life Like We Make It
Peter Hoover


Port San Carlos on the Falkland Islands. No electricity. No other towns close by. Closest paved road a day's drive away. Nothing but vast sheep stations and silence, twelve thousand km from Scotland from which its settlers came.

Would you enjoy living here?

Regardless of what you might imagine, the geography or circumstances of Port San Carlos would have little to do with it, either positively or negatively. Everything would depend on your attitude.

With a good attitude -- the mind of Christ, ready to suffer anything, able to see all of life in the light of eternity -- nothing would ever get you down. Not in Port San Carlos. Not in Australia or Europe or America or wherever you live.

We, in Tasmania, regularly hear from people around the world that dream of living on our beautiful island, so far from the troubles and perplexities of where they find themselves. Would they be happy if they lived here, with us? Only if they have learned how to be happy where they are now.

True, the Lord may call us from one place to another. We are pilgrims and strangers, and the time may come for us to move on. But moving, if we are malcontents, complainers, trouble-makers, solves nothing. If anything it only makes our troubles worse.

Too many of us spend too much time feeling bad. Half the Western world's health care revolves around medical conditions that a cheerful heart, a heart full of Jesus' love, would cure.

We talk or think about discouragement, we get discouraged.

We talk about feeling tired or weak, we get tired and weak.

We imagine ourselves sick, unable to get out of bed in the morning, we get sick.

Even here in Australia, that should be the happiest country in the world (with a government ready to catch everyone and anything that could go wrong) we have an amazing amount of unhappy and depressed people. Even Christians, conservative Bible-believing Christians, cannot make it, they say, without their anti-depressant drugs.

What is the matter?

Certainly not God. Nor the government. Certainly not their circumstances or the people around them. (Untold numbers of believers in indescribably worse situations, even those burning at the stake, have kept on singing and shouting with joy.)

The problem is that too many of us have not learned how to think right. We think something dreadful is happening if we feel pain, or if we "just don't feel good this morning," or if people ignore us, say the wrong thing, or do something unkind.

Who do we think we are?

The world owes us nothing. God owes us nothing. We deserve nothing good that we haven't already got, and even that we didn't deserve.

Why mope? Why look for counsellors and pills and spend money to get happy?

Years ago a Christian brother (an older man I looked up to, who raised a large family and did great things for God) went through a time of deep depression. "I think I might die today," he sadly told his young wife.

"All right then," she anwered him matter-of-factly. "You can come out to the barn with me and help me butcher chickens. If you're going to die you can do it out there as well as in the bedroom!" Her husband went out and butchered chickens and got over it -- and lasted nearly another 75 years.

So might you if you stopped thinking about yourself, looked to Jesus, and got busy with the work at hand. "Ma hots Lewa so wie ma's macht" (we have life like we make it) I heard all through my growing-up years. And the longer I live the more I believe it is true.

Peter