While I’ve been on vacation visiting family, the TV has been full of bad news – terrorist attacks and failed military coups. And then we have politics constantly in the news. We look around and it all looks so bleak… so hopeless. Family values, peace, the economy, truth, trust, faith, kindness … basic civility … everything we cherish is under attack. How can we not be sucked into all the negativity which abounds! Do we stick our heads in the sand and ignore everything? (By the way, notice what is sticking up in the air … waiting to get kicked … when we bury our heads in the sand!)
Constant bad news can be really depressing, especially when we feel so out-of-control. I have sometimes fought a very real desire to run away and hide in the woods or somewhere safe… if I even knew where that would be! But is that the solution?
Watching the news can be very helpful … in moderation. It certainly gives us plenty to pray about. But can we avoid getting sucked into the negativity. Is that even that possible? Yes, if we focus on “BUT GOD….” Let me explain what I mean.
We hear about economic problems … the stock market is up – then down. The price of gas is down… and that is bad? (It is if it costs more to refine the gas than they can sell it for.) So many are out of work … some have even given up looking. Many have to work several low-paying jobs just to make ends meet.
BUT GOD … He is still Jehovah Jireh – our God who provides. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. There is no recession … or lack … in the kingdom of God.
Terrorism – both local and international – is … what can I say … terrifying! How can we ever feel safe again?
BUT GOD … He is still El Elyon – the Most High God. He is higher than terrorism… higher than all the kings, presidents, and dictators in the world combined! He is our refuge and our fortress when we dwell in the secret place of the Most High. (Psalm 91)
All of this can lead to a real fear of the future. For the first time in recent history, people do not believe that the next generation will be better off than we are. I believe that is more real now than at any time since the A-bomb fears after World War II. That is when I grew up. We had “drills” in school just-in-case. We had family meetings talking about building a bomb shelter. I didn’t know what would be worse – being blown up… or stuck in a small underground room with lots of people for six months or more!
BUT GOD … He is Emmanuel, God with us….here. And He is also Jehovah Shammah. He is there… where we are headed … down the road… in the future. He goes before us … prepares the way for us… and prepares a place for us. He is El Shaddai … God Almighty. We are in Good Hands.
Just one more thought. GOD IS GOOD! He is always loving … and He always keeps His promises. He never sleeps… nothing takes Him by surprise. He is never walking around heaven, wringing His hands, wondering what to do about the mess we have made of things down here! We can trust ourselves to Him completely.
This takes practice, by the way. But take time to turn your eyes away from the news to the One Who holds us close.
We used to sing this song years ago, when I first became a believer. In this day and age, it seems even more appropriate.