The rule of three in literature tells us that things are more interesting when they come in threes. That's why there are three little pigs, Goldilocks and the three bears, and three blind mice. That's all well and good in the imaginary world of fairy tales, but it also seems to apply to real life in unfortunate ways, at least to me.
In my experience things never break on their own, it's always in a group of three--car/computer/washing machine or microwave/dishwasher/dehumidifier--to mention two examples from our house in the last few years.
This week it's felt like bad news has hit in a group of ten. Things have been going along swimmingly, with only tiny little bumps like a mouse invasion (okay, I'll admit that one was a big enough deal to me that my screams woke the children--but in the grand scheme I realize it's small potatoes) and broken appliances and a schedule that's packed a little too full . . . and then suddenly I've been blindsided with a lot of bad news in one week. Big, life-changing stuff. None of it directly impacts me, but it still weighs on me and gets me down.
Sometimes I have a hard time processing bad news. I want to do something. To fix what's broken. To mend hurting hearts. To make everything all right. The problem is that I can't do that. These things are out of my control, and in this world there's a lot that's broken.
Here's all I have to offer, the plain and simple truth: Jesus can fix anything, and He is in the process of fixing everything. It may not be how we want or when we want, but someday everything that has been broken by sin will be made right. What terrific news! In my better moments I share this news, like the little kid who goes around saying, "don't worry about that broken toy. My dad can fix it!" Sharing that hope makes me more hopeful and sometimes spreads it to others.
So now I share it with you--what I think are the most encouraging words in the whole Bible, and the ones I need to hear today as I go about my day with these heavy burdens on my heart. Maybe they'll encourage you too:
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.' And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new. . . . It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.'" (Rev. 21:1-6)
I sure hope your week is going better than mine is, but if not, I hope these words help you refocus your heart like they've helped me refocus mine.