Closer and closer it seems, we approach the precipice. Or perhaps it feels more like a roller coaster. If the latter, the question is: are we climbing the arch, or are we at the top, watching ourselves to plunge into nothingness below?
Perhaps some of you feel as we are already falling. But it is all new to us (or at least to me). Loss of freedom, loss of liberty. The madness and the chaos in the streets is repeated everyday, and always a fresh wound and a painful reality.
Though I am rapidly becoming one of the older ones, my generation hasn’t endured a real shock to the system, to the foundations of our comfortable life. Sure, we lived in a time of war (or two), an earthquake here or there, a global tragedy that we could see with our eyes, but we were safely tucked away in the West. What could truly bother our irenic slumber?
But now our world really is changing. It seems that everything we took for granted is being systematically stripped away.
Now is that what we fear? Our possessions, our livelihood, our home, all taken from us? But is that not something of which we have stood in peril every hour? Have we been so blind to suffering and the history of human tragedy that we cannot see that our lives can be changed in an instant? That riches, comfort and prosperity are vain things because they are temporary? That we do not even have the power to keep our souls alive one moment? (Psalm 22:29)
And is that what the believer fears? Not having the creature comforts he could always rely on? Is that the solid foundation we claim to stand on? I wonder as we gaze over the precipice if we do trust God. Or what new struggle or trial will shock us into submission to the Lord of hosts?
I do not wish calamity upon myself, my family or my neighbours. And we may be crying out “that there be no complaining in our streets” (Psalm 144:14). But where was the fear of God when we had peace and security? Where is the fear of God?
What is to come has already been decided by God but is unknown to us. It is not unknown to us so that we might be afraid of what we do not know but so that we can entrust ourselves to the one we do know. The present, whatever it looks like, is a time for us to live for God, for Christ his King. It is time for us to submit ourselves. It is time for us to fear him.
So it is not a time to fear what will be nor is there ever a time in which it is appropriate to do so. God’s kingdom is eternal; it cannot fail. Though the foundations be destroyed (Psalm 11:3), though the mountains fall into the sea (Psalm 46:2), his kingdom will prevail. Take heart if you trust in God. Rest in him. Rest in Christ. Be at peace, whatever comes. The arms, into which you fall, are everlasting (Deuteronomy 33:27).