There is a lot of angst going around right now. Globally. You’ve noticed it. A Christian church not far from us announced that there will be no touching between members during or after services until further notice; only a polite bow, more of a curtsy. There is some discussion whether the Summer Olympics may be cancelled or abbreviated this July in Japan. Schools are closed there for the entire month of March.
A friend of ours told us he and his wife went to do their regular weekend shopping at Costco in Washington state and the shelves were nearly bare. Especially in short supply were water and toilet paper. The British Prime Minister last week created a new position: Minister of Loneliness. (Seriously.) Politicians are feverishly blaming the novel Covid-19 virus on each other.
What? You expected paradise? No, we lost that a few eons back. Nobody who reads the Book is surprised. “An enemy has done this,” is the way Jesus explained it. The best estimates are that 4,000,000 Chinese died in 1931 during floods on the China mainland. The Black Plague in 14th century Europe caused the greatest loss of human life with some 25,000,000 deaths. Add the wars with over 200,000,000 casualties collectively, the slave trade, famines, tsunamis…our wayward planet embraces a history of disasters that cannot be calculated.
So, some perspective here. We should have known. We should not be surprised. When Lucifer declared war on everything that had come from the Creator’s hand (Isaiah 14:12 – 17) we should have known this would be a high stakes battle and the collateral damage would be horrendous.
But it helps manage the angst if you know how the story ends. And we do. So we trust Him. In his biography Job says, “Though He slay me yet I will trust in Him.” The three Hebrew teens stared unflinching into the white hot furnace and said, “Oh, king, our God is able to deliver us…but if not, it’s still ok.” The Apostle to the New Testament world, victim of shipwreck, snakebite, beating, stoning, could say, “…My life is worth nothing unless I use it for the work assigned me.”
See, when you know how the war ends it changes how you feel in the battle. Daniel was asleep with a lion for a pillow. Paul and Silas, awaiting probable execution, shook the jail house walls and turned them into a concert hall. Did you see that jail house rock? The other prisoners did. And the more consistent our communication with Him, the deeper our joy, the more profound our peace. Praying gets us there. Until you know you’re in a war you don’t know what prayer is for. And I’m convinced that a deeply joyous Christian is one of the main avenues by which God advertises.
By Don Jacobsen