Finding the light in bleak times

Picture of David Ahern

David Ahern

David is the editor of The Majellan

A morning radio presenter recently lamented the lack of good news. She sombrely described the current spate of news stories as a precursor to the “end times.”

Sure, she was exaggerating but her words were clear. The ongoing Ukrainian war, mounting tension between China and America, rising grocery and utility prices, increasing home loan interest rates, climate change catastrophes, Covid … even space junk falling to earth in outback NSW.

“Where are the good news stories?” she asked, gloomily.

We are living through some bad times. It is almost worth not turning on the radio of a morning or watching the TV news at night. Everywhere we turn there is another negative yarn. No wonder depression and anxiety are on the rise amongst the general population.

There’s enough terrible news around to fuel mental health issues and keep clinical psychologists in business for decades.

But if we think about the world logically, has there ever really been a settled time? People have endured plagues, pestilence and wars for centuries. Populations have suffered all sorts of trials and tribulations. You only have to wander through old cemeteries and read the headstones to see the high number of children and young adults who died of incurable diseases like tuberculosis.

Before the advent of penicillin and the discovery of other amazing drugs, sadly, life was fleeting for many.

‘And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope (Romans 5:3-4)’

History, however, is full of amazing stories of survival, perseverance and extraordinary hardship. The irrepressible human spirit has a way of coping through adversity and coming out the other end stronger and more resilient.

If not, people like Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay would not have conquered Mount Everest and Saint Mary MacKillop would not have found the courage and strength to establish her schools and give hope to young people in desperate need of an education in 19th century Australia.


It is so easy to fall in a heap when everything seems so dark and dour. But as Jesus taught us, faith is crucial to the human and the Christian spirit. Jesus’ death and resurrection replaces the darkness with light.

And where there is light there is always hope.

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