Bad things seem to come in clusters. Within a two-week time period, I became aware of a man and woman in their early thirties, friends of people I know, who died suddenly from a genetic abnormality they didn’t even know they had. One of them was married with 2 children. The son of a friend was diagnosed with cancer-he just graduated from college. Several couples I know-married only a few years-are ready to throw in the towel. Then there’s global terrorism and the overwhelming immigration issues. So much sadness, hurt, grief, anger, and despair. When these dark clouds loom large, how do we challenge the doom and gloom that invites us to their party?
I love my grandchildren. I adore being with them, playing, even helping them learn what is okay and what is not. One of my favorite times is when I am sitting with or holding one of them and I know they are feeling safe and secure in my presence. I believe they have a sense that all is right with the world. I think it is the same with our Heavenly Father. Psalm 16:1-2, says: “Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.’”
It’s easy to breeze past these introductory lines, disregarding their magnitude. God is our refuge-where we can go when it feels like everything is falling apart or out of control. We can rest in Him, knowing He has a plan and a purpose in the midst of chaos and confusion. Verse 5 says, “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.” It is in His arms that we are secure, just as if He were holding us as I hold my grandchildren. If we believe that God is all powerful, all knowing, ever-present, never-changing, full of grace and mercy, forgiving, loving, for us and never against us, committed for eternity, never to abandon us, has a plan not only for good in our lives but for His church, then we can rest in this truth and keep in perspective the emotions that surround the challenges of the day –those which occur in every family, society, nation and culture since the world began.
The waves may come, and even knock us down, but our hope rests in the One who promises that we have an eternity with Him. That’s the end game – not the ups and downs of the times in which we are living. Psalm 16:8, “I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” All of us have an assignment. We are here for a brief time to fulfill the calling God has for us and then to pass on the baton. When tears, fear, and anxiety knock on our door, we can allow them in for a while but after a bit, we need to ask them to leave. God has work for us to do and to entertain any departure from the journey He has given us is to lose our perspective and yield to the Evil One who delights in getting us off track.