Good news during hard times

Father David Epps's picture

There can be, if one looks hard enough, something positive even in the most difficult of circumstances. Take, for example, this current economic downturn.

The unemployment rate exceeds 10 percent, (10.2 percent in Georgia) while Michigan is the hardest hit at 15.1 percent. The New York Daily News reports, “... when you include discouraged workers and partially employed workers the figure is a whopping 17.5 percent. While losing 200,000 jobs per month is better than the 700,000 jobs lost in January, current job losses still average more than the per monthly rate of 150,000 during the last recession.”

Add to that, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the nuclear situation with North Korea and Iran, tensions between India and Pakistan, the ever-present threat of Islamic jihadism, and a government that seems bent on an orgy of spending and taxation, the future looks grim. Yet, even in this somber time, some positive things are happening.

For one thing, people are making decisions on what is essential in life. There’s just not enough money to do or buy everything. The result, for many, is a re-focus on what is important.

Some families have discovered that many activities in their communities are free — libraries and parades, for example. Some towns offer free exhibits and programs for kids that, previously poorly attended, are seeing an increase in participants.

Some families are eschewing the $50 or so spent at the movies and are parking in front of the TV with their kids and a bowl of popcorn for a family night in. Scrabble and Monopoly are being re-introduced to a new generation as other amusements are just too expensive. Trips to Disney World are being replaced by trips to the grandparents.

A number of people who have lost their jobs are returning to college or technical school to re-train. In fact, some colleges are experiencing a boom time.

Some professions are scrambling to find qualified workers, too. Automobile mechanics are in demand as repair shops are seeing an increase in business. People are deciding to keep their cars longer. Some consignment shops are seeing increased traffic.

Giving is down in most churches during these hard times, but, even there, leaders are trying to decide what is essential and what can wait until a later time. Essentials matter. Luxuries can wait.

The good news is that even the hard times often have within them unexpected surprises — even miracles! Long ago, a nation strained under the oppressive occupation of a totalitarian government. While some freedoms remained, the people themselves had lost their nation and were controlled by outsiders. The most powerful army in the world had soldiers stationed in nearly every town and hamlet.

It was into this environment that God sent His Son, born of a Virgin, into a backwater town named Bethlehem.

While the heavenly beings sang for joy, for the most part the event went unnoticed, save for a few peasant shepherds and a handful of foreigners. Yet, on that night, in the midst of great national difficulty, while the majority of people wondered how they would make it through the next day, the world was changed forever.

God cares — He has not abandoned us, however grim things may seem. St. Paul said, “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them” (2 Cor 5:19 NIV). And even during the dark times, “... we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 NASB).

Miracles still happen — at Christmas and at other times — even in the midst of great ordeals. Most people will see only the difficulties but, for those who have learned faith and trust, and for those who have the courage to look and to act, the positive can be found and hope can be seen.

David Epps is the priest and pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King ( 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277, between Peachtree City and Newnan. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. He is also the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese ( and is the mission pastor of Christ the King Mission in Champaign, IL. He may be contacted at]

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Submitted by jwoo on Thu, 12/17/2009 - 7:19pm.

Al Gore is also on the right path where the polar caps are going to melt in the next 5 years and the earth’s core is going to escalate or is currently several million degrees. This man is a genius no doubt. I am not serious for you who BELIEVE....

If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.
Adolf Hitler

This guy was a genius who knew how to play the people. Can you imagine being played by our government? If you have family from foreign country, listen to what they say, Keep laughing for those who do.

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