This Week's Comment from Network 7 News 

Edition 382 Ė October 23, 2004.  

 This weeks  was written by AWR's English Language Service Student Volunteer, Steve Hamstra.  The full programme can be heard in Real Audio on our web-site.

Comfort in the Confusion

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Life, it can be a bit overwhelming.  Fighting and confusion seem to surround us.  Just this week we heard of the continuing conflict in Iraq , as seemingly endless fighting there continued in hotspots such as Fallujah and Baghdad .  Even an aid worker from CARE International, Margaret Hassan, a woman who has given 30 years of her life helping the Iraqi people, was kidnapped by terrorists.  Then there is the constant flow of regrettable news from the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, highlighted over recent weeks by severe fighting in Gaza and the bombing of Israeli tourists on holiday in the Sinai Peninsula .  The bad news however, covers more than just violence.  Itís barely a week away from the upcoming American Presidential election.  Being a U.S. citizen, I have a keen interest in American politics.  However I am often disgusted by the lowdown tactics that both the Republican and Democratic parties utilize to sully the good name of the opposing candidate.  Itís sickens me to watch grown men and women resort to childlike methods such as name-calling or digging up dirt from their opponentís past in order to question the ďcharacterĒ of that person, and yet still call themselves honorable and trustworthy.  And not even in the church is immune from the fray.  All over the headlines this week was the bitter dispute within the Anglican Communion over the election of a homosexual bishop in America .  Then there are the countless personal issues that every human being deals with on a daily basis.  

On a more personal level, Iím living on a college campus here in England while I work for Adventist World Radio.  And, like any other college or university, there are many definite problems with students getting drunk, using drugs, or engaging in promiscuous sex.  There are also the seemingly trivial issues of who likes whom or who said what.  All this can make for a rather confusing life at times.  With so many opposing influences, my mind is often troubled with temptation and negative influences.  I find myself longing for a deeper peace. 

Through all the confusion and conflict in the world, whether it is on a grand scale that everyone can see, or on a small scale where perhaps Iím the only one affected, God is there.  And he promises to be there for all who trust in him.

 Now, I canít speak for anyone other than myself, but from my own experience I can say that the peace of mind God brings is an amazing comfort in times of hardship and uncertainty.  A recent example is my post here at AWR as a student volunteer.  Last winter, wanting to do something other than college for a year, I looked into radio internships, none of which worked out.  It was a confusing time as I questioned Godís plan for me.  The thoughts of worry and confusion made their way through my mind.  Was I were God wanted me to be?  After all the time Iíd spent in prayer was I still on the wrong path?  Looking back on it now, it is simply amazing how God led me to AWR and it has only served to strengthen my faith that God does look after his children.

A friend of mine is really struggling right now with trusting God, bearing painful memories from the past that have left him deeply scarred and reluctant to believe in anyone but himself.  All of us carry baggage on our shoulders from the hurtful things others have done to us or we have done to ourselves.  That is the harsh reality of living in a sinful world.

The beautiful thing is we donít have to bear those burdens.  We donít have to carry the worry, the confusion, or any of the rest of it.  God is there, ready to shoulder the load.  God invites us all to unload our painful pasts, worries for the future, whatever it may be, and place them on his shoulders.  The best part is that there is no weight limit, no fee, no other requirement than that we simply ask.

It may seem like a simple clichť of an answer, but thatís the beauty of it.  There are no complicated clauses to weed through; there is no prerequisite educational course.  God just says, ďCome.Ē  With faith like a child, however simple that may be, just come.

Iíve found that God is the only source of true peace and comfort that we can find in this confusing world.  Everything else is just a cheap fix, a temporary high that will wear away with time.  God is here and just waiting for the word, the go ahead to take our worries and our sins and erase them.  To bring us his peace through all that life may bring.  My prayer for myself, my friend, and for you, is to simply say to God, ďCome.  Come into my life.  I tired of the confusion, the worry, the pain.  Just come.Ē

 

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