Everything's Gonna Be Alright
This year seems to be one crisis on top of another, and it seems like each week brings another to the forefront. Some are lingering through the whole year, some come and go, and some seem to be getting louder with each passing month. With all of this going on, it can seem that hope is buried under all the calamity. But God is not having any of that, because God is all about hope.
I heard a priest say after the shooting at Wedgwood Baptist Church in 1999, “Our God wastes nothing.” I think what he was saying is that there is nothing that happens in this world that God cannot use for His glory.
This message of hope amid crisis is not new. It’s all over the Bible in what is called apocalyptic literature. The introduction to the book of Revelation in the New American Bible, Revised Edition says, “Like Daniel and other apocalypses, [Revelation] was composed as resistance literature to meet a crisis…. The triumph of God in the world of men and women remains a mystery, to be accepted in faith and longed for in hope. (Emphasis added)
So basically, throughout the Scriptures, the biblical writers deliver messages of hope in the midst of the various crises. Whether it be the fall of the Northern Kingdom to the Assyrians, or the fall of Judah to the Babylonians, or the occupation of the Greeks and the persecutions under Antiochus IV and even to the occupation and persecution of the Romans in the first century, crisis seemed to be a way of life for the Israelites and the early Church. But through all the terrible times runs a thread of hope.
The temptation to despair is real, and it is not a bad thing to express. More than half of the Psalms speak of lament and there is a whole book called Lamentations. So, it’s not as if we have to ignore the difficult times we are in, grit our teeth, and hold on to an unseen hope. As with most things in the life of faith, it’s not an either-or, it’s a both-and type of situation.
This hope offered by God through the Scriptures has come to me very strongly through the Responsorial Psalms from Mass over the past few months. Day after day the Mass was giving me all I needed in the way of hope. Here are a few examples:
July 9, 2020: “Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.”
July 21, 2020: “Lord, show us your mercy and love.”
August 19, 2020: “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.”
And lastly September 19, 2020: “I will walk in the presence of God, in the light of the living.”
These types of hope-filled and encouraging messages are not relegated to the Psalms. Here are a few others from throughout the Bible:
Exodus 14:14: “The LORD will fight for you; you have only to keep still.”
Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.”
John 16:33: “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
God has not and will never forget us, even if it feels like it sometimes. God will also bring His message of hope to us in the most unlikely of places. For me, one of these messages of hope came through social media, which is often filled with angst and discouragement.
One day while scrolling, I stumbled across a new band called Infinity Song that had just released an original song called Everything is Gonna Be Alright. Some of the lyrics are: “Quiet whisper in the dead of night/Tells me everything will be alright/If I keep my head to the sky/Everything is gonna be alright.”
It’s a simple song with a simple message, but it’s just like Jesus to give a boost to our hope and a reminder that everything is gonna be alright!