From Yesterday to Today…
A lot has happened. Nothing is the same. Everything seems to be different. What we believed in yesterday (and the past), is reviewed under a different light today. What’s illegal, is legal, wrong is now right, bad is okay, and good is wrong….
Contrast. The strikingly difference between two things. Yesterday as opposed to today. Youth to age. Darkness to light. Hot to cold. Good to bad. And every so often, it’s more than the obvious poles of difference, you mix in other views… Windows vs MAC vs Chrome.
In action we compare and then contrast things that are often diametrically opposed. From my time living in Alaska we often compared and contrasted winter and summer. The obvious is easy. Temperature. Weather elements. Visible light. Growing season. This contrast might not easily notice the stress that is put on people who do not like the excessive darkness of winter and revel in the endless days of summer.
However, I do not like neighborhood kids knocking on the front door around midnight in the summer just to see if the kids could come out and play. (In Anchorage, the sun went down around midnight on the longest summer day of the year.)
This contrasting action shows the positive and negative of each item, often comparing the extremes.
We may contrast the past against what is the present, but what about the future? We see the darkness as something evil and the opposite of light, but for the crops to grow there needs to be a season of dormancy. You need the contrast to survive!
It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.” (Mark 4:31-32 NKJV)
The smallest becomes large. What could be consumed without notice by wild birds now becomes the solace of shade.
We heard about this yesterday via a preached message that revolved around the contrast of bad times with the victory to come. I’ll share more about that later, but it brought a song to my heart from Joan Ewing called simply, “Contrast”.
Before every victory, there’s a battle to fight.
Before every sunrise, one must live through the night.
Before the grave bursts open on a resurrection morn,
There’s a hill to be climbed and a cross to be borne.
Into the ground a grain of wheat is fallen and is dead,
But on some tomorrow the hungry will have bread.
My sails were torn. my little boat tossed helplessly at sea,
But how else could I have learned that he’d rescue one like me.
Jesus! Jesus! You know what’s best for me.
Lead on, Jesus, I’ll go wherever you lead.
By Joan Ewing, 1978
One more thought… Jesus contrasts that tiny mustard seed to the request for more faith.
And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. (Luke 17:5-6 NKJV)
It does not take a lot of faith to get through your night. On the other side of every night is a day waiting to blossom.
Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. (Psalms 30:5 NKJV)
And if you have read and remembered me from other posts, I cannot help but add…
I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. (Psalms 37:25 NKJV)