October 6, 2013
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
The ancient Scottish (or Welsh) prayer reads, "From ghoulies and ghosties And long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!"
Now the odds are the person who first wrote that prayer had never seen any ghoulies or ghosties. Nor is it likely he or she had had any encounters with long-leggedy beasties. Yet, that prayer has survived. It comes down to us partly because of its quaint language, but also because it touches something deep down inside all of us, namely, the fear of the unknown and the things we cannot control.
"From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties And things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!"
When European explorers set out across the sea that might well have been their prayer. With only the most rudimentary of navigational tools and maps based on guesswork rather than fact, the unknown was a constant terror. But that kind of unknown has been taken care of by today's GPS, our global positioning systems.
Many of yesteryear's unknowns have been taken care of in the same way. The weatherman's radar means there are no more weather surprises, and the news lets us know when a flu epidemic is coming our way. Nowadays when something goes "bump in the night," it usually is the air-conditioner turning on.
Still, if I could talk with you, I imagine you could, without much difficulty, be able to come up with your own list of ghoulies, ghosties and long-leggedy beasties. You wouldn't have to think long before you could come up with those unknowns, which rob you of sleep and cause you concern and consternation.
You know, things like "Is my job secure? Do I have enough to live on in retirement? Are my children safe? Is my spouse being faithful? What is the unknown lump on my back? Then, of course, there is the ever-present "What will happen to me after I die?"
Truly, life provides us a laundry-list of unknowns that modern science and the complete library of human knowledge cannot touch. This is why we need Someone who has the answers and the authority to help us deal with these unknowns.
From what I can see, the only Person who has the qualifications to answer that job description is Jesus, the Savior. Only He has provided peace for those who find themselves confronted by the questions a sinful world throws at us. Only He has faced and conquered death so that all who believe on Him as their Redeemer can be sure and certain that the grave's sting and victory have been removed.
Only He can deal with the unknown ghoulies, ghosties and long-leggedy beasties in every age and in every heart.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it is true, there are still many unknowns in my life, that is, things which I cannot comprehend or conquer on my own. I am grateful that because of what the risen Redeemer has done there is nothing that can separate us from Your love. In the Name of the Savior I give thanks. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries