It is a particularly tough time for mankind right now.
People all over the world are facing trial after trial and crisis after crisis. Some persons are living in a literal warzone. The citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are still trying to put the pieces of their lives back together after the eruption of La Soufriere in April.
People in Afghanistan are presently living in a nightmare following the fall of Kabul last August. Can you imagine the level of desperation and hopelessness a person must have been feeling for them to attempt to travel across an ocean on the wings of a plane?
My Caribbean neighbours in Haiti just cannot seem to catch a break. Eleven years after the devastating 2010 earthquake, they are still reeling from the effects of that tragedy and trying to find their footing. But just when you would think Haiti has about had enough, there came a catastrophic 7.2 magnitude earthquake taking with it homes, churches, livelihoods and most devastatingly – lives.
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc across the globe, claiming over four million lives and leaving suffering, learning loss, mental fatigue, emotional strain, overwhelmed economies and burned-out healthcare workers in its wake. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are people who are fighting their own personal demons (literally and figuratively) in addition to what is happening globally. It is easy to get overwhelmed.
One thing that is constant in the midst of the chaos that is taking place in the world right now is that 'God is'.
No that wasn't a typo. God is. That's the statement.
This is one truth on which we can rely, that the all-powerful God is still sitting on His throne and He is still every bit God. Still faithful, still mighty, still powerful, still God. The all-sufficient God who introduced himself to Moses as I AM in Exodus chapter 3, verse 14 still is.
At my old church in St. Mary there we used to sing a hymn that says:
"In times like these you need a Savior
In times like these you need an anchor
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
This Rock is Jesus, Yes He's the One
This Rock is Jesus, the only One
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!"
If there ever was a time when these words were true, it is now. Now more than ever we need to be rooted and grounded in truth, anchored to the Rock of Ages because without the anchor that is strong enough to keep us from falling, we are sure to be adrift at sea, tossed by every wave (and there are many), going to and fro and wavering between many opinions.
At this point some of you may be saying "How do I stay grounded when all of this is happening around me?"
What about the many persons who were anchored and still died?
What about those who prayed and faithfully believed that their loved ones would be healed and still had to bury them?
What of those believers who are currently homeless or on the brink of losing their homes or jobs despite journeying with God for many years?
The truth is, our faith does not necessarily protect us from having terrible things happen to us. What it does however, is provide us with a foundation on which we can stand when everyone and everything around us appears to be falling apart.
After all, the apostle Paul did remind us in Romans chapter 8, verse 17 that "...if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."
This is just one reminder that character is often built through hardships. Remember that diamonds are not formed under low pressure.
Who is your anchor?
Let us be clear about something. A lot of us are anchored to some things that are not able to provide any form of resistance when the storms of life come. We are anchored to some temporary things that are not firmly secured. We are anchored to people who will be just as adrift and lost as us when life rocks our boat.
What being really anchored means though, is that despite the noise around you, despite the chaos, the uncertainties, the seemingly endless suffering, you can have the assurance that just like a ship anchored out on the sea you will have resistance.
When the waves come at you from every direction – as they sometimes do, when life is happening to you and you are being tempted to just call time on it all, there is something that refuses to allow you to give in.
Being anchored is knowing that your hope is in someone far greater than all the trials you face. It is also being secure in the knowledge that we will not get some of the answers we seek on this side of eternity.
Being anchored is being secure in the fact that El Shaddai on whom you depend still reigns and no one can put an end to that reign. It is having the assurance that you are engraved on the palms of His hands as He told us in Isaiah chapter 49, verse 16 and He and only He has the final say about anything concerning you.
Being anchored is reminding yourself that God himself said, "For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 11).
As you go about your day, be encouraged by this scripture:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things" (Philippians chapter 4, verses 6-8).