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Viewpoint: Truth And Circumstances

By Dennis Edwards

Editorial Columnist

New Journal and Guide

There are times when we get carried, even swept away by the circumstances of life and living. When we are overwhelmed by what happens around and to us. Adolescence moves swiftly into adulthood and suddenly we are the parents, with mortgages, car notes and nagging bosses complicating uncertain times. Once, we were the young upwardly mobile couple. Now the children are grown, the house is back to just us two, and the circumstances of aging are advancing too quickly.

In moments like these we are tempted to see circumstances as the truth of our lives. We like to say “it is what it is” . But is it really?

Are we like the Disciples with Jesus while crossing the Sea of Galilee? He’s asleep on the bottom of the boat. We’re obsessing over every detail of passage. The wind of social unrest and the waves of national discontent have our complete attention. With every daily pressure we are blown into a whirling vociferous wave of stress. Our domestic boat is tossed by the waves of getting the kids out to school, working in increasingly pressurized jobs, among less and less stable people and for companies wanting to get younger without getting better.

Gathering clouds unique to the urban survival struggle are blowing in from everywhere. Getting to school is just one consideration. Getting there safely is a real concern. Those clouds darken with competing threats from gang influence and misguided tendencies among some of our boys and girls to “Boo up” too quickly.

Even though we worship weekly, our domestic boat is “tossed and driven by the reckless sea” of changing secular standards for marriage. So much so, that some, like the disciples, believe a crash and sinking is inevitable.

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So, in that sense, we are the disciples. We’ve allowed the circumstances of life to become our truth, our reality. The determiners of the quality of our days. Like them, we, too, are frantic with anxiety, what I’ve come to see, as the root cause of a multitude of sin. In his book “The Man God Uses,” Henry and Tom Blackaby are quick to illustrate an “eternal but.” “But the truth of the disciples situation,” they say, “is not that the boat would sink. The truth of their situation was asleep on the floor!”

Post Resurrection, the truth of our circumstances no longer needs that kind of rest. Our risen Savior is right here riding with us everyday of our domestic voyages. The living presence of Christ with us is the only real truth. Circumstances are just the canvas upon which the Lord paints our deliverance.

The real truth got up and spoke peace to their wind and waves. And the same truth can and is speaking peace to our circumstances as well as the anxiety they produce. The pressure of life is not the truth of our lives. The truth is waiting for us to call on him.

So let the winds of debate over Nuclear Arms Agreements blow, watch the waves of Congressional discontent batter and break over over the minutia of partisan silliness and watch the ship of cynicism roll on the sea of anxiety.

The Truth is in emerging results. America is heading toward peace with old enemies like Vietnam; new relationships with former adversaries like Cuba; peace of mind for millions who now have healthcare; relative peace in the Middle East; economic stability and historic growth in the job and stock market; the removal of the confederate flag from any place of honor; and the exposure of the cause and effect of police violence against men and women of color.

The truth of the presence of Christ is emerging change. And isn’t change always the result when the Savior speaks to the empty powers of life. “Peace,” He says, “Peace Be Still”!

Dennis Edwards is an Emmy Award winning Television Investigative Journalist.He is a graduate of Suffolk High School, Virginia Union University and it’s Samuel Proctor School of Theology. Email him at

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