The One who with the Father and the Spirit spoke the worlds into existence has promised that as long as the earth remains the cycle of the seasons will continue. We are again on the brink of warm, sunny days and evenings among the flowers in the yard. We’re in the greening of the year. It’s like the whole world is blushing with young love.
There are things around us that are dark and disturbing and I would give you an account of them if I thought you needed it – but the ubiquitous media stream evidence of human depravity into our homes, and cars, and businesses, and offices non-stop. We don’t need any more detail. Unrelenting evidence of sin’s curse surrounds us. Stories of greed, lust, murder, theft, perversion, betrayal, pride, violence, tragedy, sports, and weather are tucked between breezy adds to sell everything from insect repellant to insurance from laundry soap to ladders from luxury cruises to cemetery property. Young chirpy model-types in short skirts and perfect teeth sit between talking heads in suits and chat about the mayhem that plagues our earth as if they were swatting flies away or brushing ants off the table at a picnic. But once-in-a-while, when the evil hits close to home, or when the tragedy touches a friend, or when a series of painful things hit us at once, we are tempted to be overcome by the evil around us.
How to Keep From Being Overcome By Evil
How can we keep from being overcome by evil? Knowledge of evil will not overcome evil. Brute force will not overcome evil. Law will curtail evil but the law cannot overcome evil. Legislation will not overcome evil. First-century Christians in Rome must have had a sense of evil pressing in on them. Paul reminded them of the teaching of Jesus and said, “Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (see Romans 12:21)
We must be those who overcome evil with good. We cannot allow our spirits to be dragged into the swamp of despair. I am among those who will continually strain to hear the sounds of spring on an April morning. I will continually trust that He who conceived such wonder and such beauty and such life and spoke it instantly into being can push back evil like spring overcomes winter every year. I long for that day. Until then I will conspire with others who would overcome evil with good. I will speak and tell and write good words. Good words are powerful words. I will conspire with others to do good deeds. Good deeds are powerful deeds. They are powerful enough to overcome evil.
When in the evening in the greening of the year I sit in our yard and breathe in the fragrance of spring my heart is filled with hope again that one day evil can be overcome by good.
April 14, 2008