Ah, the good life! Family, a home, vehicles, a job–security! Multitudes are indeed abundantly blessed, whether deserving or not. Little disturbs the ebb and flow of many a comfortable life. Yet, life offers no guarantee from trouble. One would be naïve to think oneself exempt from some manner of emergency in the course of one’s lifetime.
Consider recent events. Last month, could we have imagined closed borders between countries, thousands of flight cancellations, restaurants, pubs, businesses and even churches closing globally; government-imposed quarantines, and a shaky global economy? The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting “life-as-usual” while a bewildered world populace is looking on. What will happen next? Where will this lead? How long will this continue? Will airlines fail? Will businesses go under? How will I pay my bills? Where do I go for help? What if I get the virus? Will I die?
Oh, the uncertainty of it all! And indeed, we know not what will be on the morrow, nor how long this will last or how many will, in fact, die. What are all of the implications of this emergency? Forebodings of trouble and, yes, even fear of death are filling many a heart with distress. Life has taken a sudden and drastic change–so unexpected, so inconvenient, so unwanted.
My heart goes out to the sick or dying. My heart goes out to those who may suffer financial difficulty due to job loss and who may be wondering how they will provide for life’s basic needs. I am concerned for those business owners who may face the possibility of losing all should this crisis persist for an extended time.
The world is in trouble, causing the masses to be jolted into having to think of something other than sports, careers, nightclubs and bars, recreation, travel, or whatever else pleasured them when life was “normal.” Life’s jolts, of whatever nature, are difficult and unwelcome. Yet, it can be that such an unwelcome guest can prove to be a visitation of mercy. Adam Clarke rightly stated, “Men seldom seek God in prosperity. They are apt to rest in an earthly portion, but God in mercy embitters this by adversity. Then there is a general cry after Himself as our chief, solid, and only permanent good.”
Humans tend to forget how frail and needy they actually are. That is, until health fails, employment ceases, and savings accounts diminish. Emergencies have an aggressively disruptive way of forcing lifestyle changes. Hopefully, they will also cause people to rethink their priorities in life. If this is done, good can come out of bad.
Serious times cause people to think more soberly. And, really, it is about time they did. Most live as though enjoying creature comforts were the purpose of their existence. Pleasure-crazed and self-willed, multitudes pass the days of their vain lives here with little thought of God. They feel no need of Him. Life is good. They have things under control. Or so they thought.
On any given day, wealth can take wings and fly away, a lay-off notice can end the “secure” job situation, relationships can end, or the healthy can become fatally ill. If these earthly supports should fail, on what will you stand? Where will you find security and refuge? To whom will you go? Can the governments save you? To which country will you flee? Know you not that “the nations are as a drop of a bucket” to God (Isaiah 40:15)? Have you forgotten that kingdoms rise and fall as the waves of the ocean?
O helpless man! When all human resources fail, what will you do? When life overwhelms with mounting stress and carking fears that strain the nerves, how will you navigate through the darkness when strength and courage are gone?
It is no wonder that God pities our frame. He knows that we are but dust (Psalm 103:13-14). It just takes man a good while to come to the realization that he is not invincible after all.
The brotherhood of man is suffering. The world is in a crisis. You might say, it has been brought to its knees.
Earthly supports are failing–globally. We know not what another day will bring. There is a growing fear and anxiety in the hearts of the masses. A refuge is needed; a permanent shelter from the storms of life.
And to all of our distressed brothers and sisters in Adam, I bring good news. There is a sure refuge for you. It is in God, your Creator. The Psalmist said it well, “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9. God is real, and His love for man is real.
The very God that the nations have forgotten invites all to come unto Him. He offers pardon and refuge to all. He will calm all storms and provide all needs for those who will put their trust in Him.
The corona crisis has put many things on pause currently. Why not take this time to consider your ways? Have you been spending your days merely living for the pleasures of this vain life? Have you neglected God and His great offer of salvation? Have you ever considered what He is requiring of you? Do you really know God? Are you obeying His gospel in your daily life? (2 Thessalonians 1:8)
When this troubled life is over, all will stand before God at the Judgment–and this generation is woefully unprepared for this soon-coming event! This is cause for serious and earnest reflection. It is time to awaken to righteousness and forsake sin.
Dear ones, we need each other in times like these, but our need of God is infinitely greater. Be wise and seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and have peace–even through the storms of life.
“If from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29.