I hate flying – its an irrational fear (is it so irrational?!) but one that I deal with every time I fly. So in three days time we will be flying to Australia via Malaysia. Some have asked why Malaysian airlines – given their record this year (one missing plane, one shot down). And then this morning I woke up to the news that another plane from the area has gone missing (presumed downed by bad weather)…Asia Airlines, another Malaysian airline, has lost a plane with 155 people on board. So am I concerned about flying. Yes. But am I concerned about what I eat, or what I drive in, or where I visit etc? The fact is, as an atheist friend wrote me a couple of days ago, life is fragile. Who knows what the New Year will hold?
And then my psalm this morning was the following from Psalm 139. And therein lies the difference between the Christian and the atheist worldview. We are sustained by the Word of God. For the atheist life is by definition random and ultimately meaningless. For the Christian there is pain, hurt and sorrow but there is no meaninglessness. We are not immune from being on crashed planes, but we know that nothing that happens to us is random and that God uses all things for the good of those who love him. As gather for worship on this the last Lord’s Day of the year let us all remember that our times are in His hands – and He IS good.
If I take flight upon the wings of dawn
And if I settle far beyond the sea,
10 There also you will guide me with your hand
And still your right hand will keep hold of me.
11 If I should say, “The dark will cover me
And light around me be as dark as night,”
12 Yet even darkness is not dark to you—
The night is as the day, the darkness light.
13 For you created me and gave me life;
Within my mother’s womb you fashioned me.
14 I’m fearfully and wonderfully made;
I praise you as your mighty works I see.
15 My frame could not be hidden from your sight,
When I was made within the secret place.
When I was woven in the depths of earth,
My unformed body was before your face.
16 Your eyes beheld me in my unborn state,
And all the days that you ordained for me
Were written in the book that you had made
Before a single day had come to be.
And here is a superb version of this psalm from New Scottish –