I am 50ish... and cannot remember a point in my lifetime where the news reports were as bad, where the threats were as numerous, or where the enemies were as prolific.
Watching the news can involve watching another western prisoner of ISIS be condemned to a horrific death, or a report of hundreds of school girls being kidnapped by ISIS in Iraq or Boko Haram in Nigeria.
And the bad news is not just over seas. Now Ebola, which has ravished parts of Western Africa, is on our soil, infecting our citizens, and the fear is palpable.
And in America, where various sects, denominations and religions have fled for centuries to escape religious persecution, the attack on Christianity has begun in full force. Pastors' sermons are demanded in court and business owners are punished if they want to try live what they believe.
And all this leads to the question, "Who is really in charge?"
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountain quake at its swelling pride. Ps. 46:1,2
I have to be honest. I wish it wasn't like this. I wish I could look at the world and imagine it being even better for my kids and their families in the future. I so look forward to having grandkids someday, but now I have begun to feel fearful for them. What kind of world will they be born into? What kind of America? One where they can live their Christianity out loud or one where they will live as part of the underground remnant?
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Ps. 46: 4-7
I feel much like Frodo, when weary and discouraged from the difficulty of the journey and the constant battle to live his calling, says, "I wish none of this had happened."
To which Gandalf wisely responds, "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." (Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers)
I, my children, and my future grandchildren will live in the times given to us and we will have to decide what to do with these times.
And in the midst of "these times"- of roller coaster stock markets, of wars and rumors of wars, of plagues and diseases, of natural disasters and man-made disasters - I HAVE to remember Who is in charge.
God is in charge. All the time. Every moment. On the throne.
He is not on holiday. He is not looking away.
Come, behold the works of the Lord... "Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Ps. 46: 8, 10, 11
My hope is not in financial stability. It is not in personal security. It is not in conflict free living. It is not in peaceful resolution of differences.
My hope is in my Rock, my Stronghold, and my Refuge. (Ps. 62:5-8)
So ISIS, you can have my head. Ebola, you can have my health. "Tolerance," you can have my freedom. Economy, you can have my finances.
God is still in charge and I choose to rest only in Him.
Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Ps. 62:6-8