IN TIMES LIKE THESE

These are hard times. Our country is at war, the national debt is out of control, the economy continues to limp along, and now this…

“Movie Massacre” (from cnn.com headline).

Twelve lives were lost; many others were forever changed. Our hearts go out to the victims of the movie theater massacre in Aurora, CO. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and the members of a community traumatized by an incomprehensible act.

In times like these, we shake our heads in disbelief, and wonder what this world is coming to. We can’t help but wonder why God didn’t prevent this from happening.

The early church must have wondered why God allowed the persecution they faced. They were dragged off to prison, tortured, stoned, crucified, and even sawed in half (Read Hebrews 11). The Apostle Peter gave this perspective to believers of his time: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you” (I Peter 4:17, NIV).

These things happen…

Yes, these things do happen, but such horrific evil acts shatter our perception of reality and shake our foundations. Even lesser evils can jar our senses. Recently I spoke with a friend who experienced tremendous losses within a short period of time. While her grief was still fresh, someone close to her inflicted further trauma with hurtful words and behavior. Gail recalled a day, 15 years earlier, when I called her, crying in disbelief, after experiencing a similar trauma immediately following the funeral of a loved one. Although we may never understand why, the unthinkable sometimes does happen. We shouldn’t be surprised as if something strange were happening to us.

Several years ago, I was weighed down with a staggering work load and other concerns that seemed overwhelming. The song, “In Times Like These,” kept running through my head.

In 1943, the Great Depression was fresh in people’s minds, the world was at war, and the Nazis were overrunning Europe. The world could not yet imagine the horror that was in Hitler’s death camps. Surely times like these caused many to wonder where God was. It was then that Ruth Caye Jones wrote the words that have since comforted many in their time of need:

In times like these, you need a Savior

In times like these, you need an anchor,

Be very sure, be very sure

Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

God is the anchor for our souls in times like these.

Until we get to heaven, we can only trust Him with our circumstances. God is sovereign, and His plans for us are good.  We can claim His promise: “I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me” (Jeremiah 29:11 – 13, The Message).

As we have in past tragic times (after 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Joplin, MO tornado), let us come together as a nation, to call on God. In times like these, let us come to Him in prayer for the people of Aurora, CO, and for our country – He will listen. In the midst of our personal hard times, let us seek God with all our hearts– we will find Him.

We will make it through these times…and the ones yet to come. Although we may be caught off guard when the next trial comes, let’s not be surprised, as if something strange were happening to us. Jesus warned – and promised – us, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NIV).

Take heart; our Anchor will hold…even in times like these.

 

1 Comment

  1. marianne
    Jul 30, 2012

    Thank you, kathy, I needed this today. God IS Faithful.

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