[ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Parker lives in Saskatoon with his wife Michelle and their two boys where he serves on staff at the Saskatoon Church of Christ. He is the author of “Holy Toast” and continues to enjoy writing every chance he gets.]
Have you ever ridden on an airplane and somewhere between the peanuts and warm cola thought to yourself, “This shouldn’t work. Kites fly. Hot air balloons fly. Birds fly, but a couple hundred pounds of metal should not fly.” It doesn’t make sense does it? It seems to defy logic. Yes, I know that it’s all about aerodynamics and lift and drag, but be honest, it just doesn’t feel right. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad it works, especially when I’m inside one, but it is a bit unnerving to realize how much faith I’m putting in a big hunk of tin.
But airplanes aren’t the only thing I put my confidence in. I trust scientists to find the cure for diseases and the solution to problems like global warming. I trust politicians to deal with issues of world peace and economic stability. I trust activists to address issues of human rights and poverty. Even though I may not always agree with all these people, in the end I am moderately comfortable with the belief that they will do their part to keep things from getting too far out of control. They’ll keep the human train from flying off the proverbial tracks. They’ll keep the world spinning.
On a more personal level I trust in my own intelligence to solve the problems in my life. I count on my physical strength to deal with issues that arise. I even rely on good looks and charm when I get really desperate. If I was being completely honest I would say that I feel like there aren’t many, if any, situations that these things can’t somehow get me through (or out of as the case may be).
On most days I am uncomfortably comfortable with all of that, until I read a verse like Jeremiah 14:22.
Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, O LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this. (NIV)
This verse is about much more than precipitation. Jeremiah observes that the people have being looking to all sorts of other things to solve their problems instead of turning to the One who can actually do something about them. That’s not to say that science, government and social activism can’t accomplish valuable things, they are just not our salvation. There is no reason I shouldn’t try to be the best I can be and contribute as much as I can to society, but I don’t possess the brains, brawn or (shockingly) even the beauty to fix everything. Jeremiah comes to the revolutionary realization that our only hope to make things right is found in God alone. Which, incidentally, is the same conclusion I come to each time I ride in a plane.
And in the end I’d much rather put my hope in the all-powerful God who loves me enough to die for me than in anything else you or I can come up with on our own.