Matthew 5:3-10 (New International Version)
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Sooner or later we will all realize the futility of trying to be in control of our circumstances, and we will come to understand that our life has been a total sham. Hopefully it won't be while we are on our deathbed!
God, in His goodness, will give us many opportunities throughout our lives to contemplate real life, real freedom and real love. More often than not, however, we simply shrug our shoulders and go on without a second thought.
Still, only when we are completely broken inside can we truly realize that there is more to life than wildly running around like a chicken with its head cut off. But in all honesty, is our stressful life truly the full life Jesus promises us? "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10 NIV)
This was a concept the Germans didn't realize during World War I. They wanted complete control, and complete control they had. Or so it seemed to them. They hadn't yet conquered all of Europe, but they had Belgium under their control! And though the Netherlands succeeded in shaking them off their back, the Germans continued to strive for total control.
No communication was allowed between these two countries, and this was easily controlled. Or at least that's what the Germans thought when they erected a three-meter electric fence and sent 2000 volts of current between these two countries. "Ha! That will keep them away!"
However in any plan designed to control someone's behavior, there is always gaps that we never considered. Ingenious Hollanders found a way around this electric fence. Or should I say "through it"! They found out that if they put a wooden barrel between the wires, they could crawl through the barrel to the other side without any consequences. Soon they were regularly smuggling mail between the two countries.
Yes, the Germans thought they had the country completely in control, especially since they had a backup plan. They had German troops patrolling "the wire", or "Het draad", as they called it in Dutch. And yes once, one of these troops caught one of these pundits and shot him on the spot. But it didn't stop the communication between these two countries.
Eventually the Germans realized they could not control all of their conquered countries, and World War I came to an end. They never completely gave up the idea of controlling all of Europe, however, and the entire world as well, and a mere twenty years later Hitler came into power. Fortunately for the world, he, too, had to come to the realization that total control was impossible.
Broken, many of these soldiers, as well as the inhabitants of the European countries who had suffered throughout the wars, discovered a refuge in the One they considered their Shepherd. He was the One they could trust at all times, to Him they surrendered their lives. Through brokenness they discovered there is more to life than just barely living!
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." (Ps 23:1-3 NIV)
If you are facing despair and solitude because of your circumstances, consider the hope Jesus, our Lord, is offering you. Even amidst absolute turmoil, you can experience real living. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NIV)
Dear Lord we thank You for the fact that we don’t have to despair but only look up to You. Thanks for the freedom You bring. In Jesus’ name, Amen.