He Knows Me

  • Steve Hatter
We Wish You A Happy New Year graphic

Nihilism is the rejection of all religious and moral principles, in the belief that life is meaningless. As I found myself herding forward in the lengthy and meandering TSA line earlier today my mind began to ruminate over the tragedy of nihilism and other forms of unbelief. While headed back to Anchorage after a lovely visit with close family who live near Seattle, I felt a wave of discouragement envelop me as I scanned the people-filled chasms of SEATAC Airport and considered the countless lost souls.

If indeed humanity has nothing to believe in, nor any true moral standard to live by, there are few more apt places that can tempt one to sink emotionally under the dread of dark philosophies than in the TSA line at SEATAC airport. SEATAC, though only averagely busy on this second day of the new year, nonetheless might be characterized as a sea of humanity. The terminals team with people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and characteristics. But most importantly, they all possess complex personal stories.

The nihilist would say none of these people matter in an utterly cold and uncaring universe. People’s histories, their giftings, their loves, their triumphs, their failures, their families, the impacts they have had upon others, mean nothing at all. Like some accidental hunk of flotsam, drifting is the mass of the lonely ocean, each human being ultimately must be said to merely drift helplessly and worthlessly within the mass of the universe—so says the nihilist. The spark of human life is random, the length of days decidedly brief, and the before-and-after of living is simply nothingness.

What a depressing mindset! How terrible if true! How frightening if leveraged as the foundation for exercising one’s free will!

As I inched forward toward the ID-checking TSA uniformed man, I literally felt the need to shake my limbs and head in hope of flinging off the darkness I was feeling. As I did so, I thought two things. First, I wondered why anyone would choose the darkness of nihilism as a life philosophy. Then I pondered the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The first line of thinking proved a descent into a theological, sociological, cultural, and philosophical abyss I simply had to avoid, especially under the stress of air travel! The second idea—that my Creator knows me, loves me, saved me, and has a good eternal plan for me, proved far more profitable—it was the perfect antidote to the crushing weight of wrong-thinking while traveling SEATAC airport!

So here is my takeaway: As you and I walk forward into the new year, we should ever meditate on John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

And then we should remember what Jesus said to His disciples about managing daily stressful living as recorded in Matthew 6:25–33:

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Finally, we should be intentional to obey the Apostle Paul’s exhortations found in Philippians 4:8:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

The three verses are a formula of sorts for navigating 2022. The new year will probably be another wild ride of temporal strife, uncertainty, and tragedy—for this is the sad reality of living in the fallen creation. However, we can see God’s heart for us in the simple Gospel message of John, we can hear God’s practical application of the Gospel in the words of our Lord Jesus spoken while He was walking the earth, and we can answer the call to obedient living manifest in the Apostle Paul’s New Testament epistles.

Choose the light of the Gospel over the darkness of not just nihilism, but all the other “isms” and false teachings that spew lies about the Creator, the creation, and how it all works.

I choose the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  Happy New Year!