November 20, 2015
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10
The news about the Paris attacks last week, and today’s situation in Mali hasn’t been easy to watch. Fear, worry that it could happen here, wondering what what’s coming…I’m sure those thoughts have flitted through all our minds, as images of death and destruction flicker across our television screens, and commentators speculate on what it all bodes for the future.
The New York Times’ November 15 Sunday magazine inadvertently added to anxieties about harm happening in the most innocent of places, with a short article about books which detail fatalities in national parks. Death in Yellowstone, Death in Yosemite, Death in the Grand Canyon and Death in Big Bend chronicle the parks’ fatalities due to accidents and homicides, from falls, floods, animal encounters gone wrong, bad decisions, stupid mistakes, clumsiness and human brutality.
Reading about them amid the terrorism was a little disconcerting, underscoring the fact that misfortune can catch us anywhere, anytime. None of us is exempt, no matter where we are, even in the most spectacular park.
Our God-given instinct is self-preservation, telling us to hide ourselves when we feel threatened. Too often, though, we fall into the trap of believing our government or our possessions will shield us, or we can somehow gut it out on our own. But those resources can only do so much.
With so much calamity and uncertainty around us, if we don’t have the right security, we’ll instead find ourselves caught in a toxic vortex of fear, worry and anxiety, grasping at whatever floats by to give us the stability we need.
So here’s the real life preserver to hang on to: lasting safety is found only in God.
His love, wisdom, power, strength, faithfulness, kindness and purpose never change or falter despite circumstances. He is always on hand, always on duty.
If you’re struggling with apprehension over the state of this old world, switch off the TV and open the Bible. Here’s a sampling of Scriptures I turn to when I’m feeling vulnerable, ones that remind us we have somewhere to run:
1 Chronicles 28:20
2 Chronicles 20:5-12
Psalms 23, 37, 46, 91, 118, 121
2 Timothy 4:18
Hebrews 4:15, 13:5
1 Peter 5:7-11
(Please feel free to add your own favorite verses by clicking on “Post Comments Here” under this post’s title.)
A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
a wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
where rivers of pleasure I see.
A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord—
He taketh my burden away;
He holdeth me up and I shall not be moved,
He giveth me strength as my day.
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.