Posted by: Beth | January 20, 2021

UNPRECEDENTED?

My mind has been wondering around in hyper drive lately.  This morning I wandered outside to sit in the sun.  Sunshine, no breeze, and 45 degrees is pretty nice, especially with everyone else in the household asleep and no traffic on the road.

I have been wondering about the fear and uncertainty in our world.  They are consuming people like a prairie wildfire at the end of a year of drought. What are we so stinking afraid of?  The unknown.  The uncertainty.

I recently heard the remark, “Why would anybody have a baby NOW?”  I also heard that in the 70s – the cold war and the imminent threat of mutual annihilation kept a lot of people in a state of fear.  In the early 21st century, students were shot at school.  Unprecedented!  No, it wasn’t’.  Violence tore at schools and communities in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement. 

That brings to mind the War Between the States.  Imagine a family with several sons, and those adult sons choose different sides. As far as the deadliest attack on American soil, we did it to ourselves in that war.  Can you imagine living in Virginia, or any other border state, in 1863 and finding out your first grandchild would be born in a few months? Will the doctor be available if something goes wrong?  Will the town still be here?  Will my home be mine or full of soldiers?  Will we have any food or will the military have taken it all? There was no social security or food stamps or aid for families with children.  It was you, your family, and your community.

Going a little farther back … what about the American Revolution?  It’s easy now, close to 250 years later, to choose a side.  But what if you were living then?  What if you valued the steady income from sales of your products to England and your brother wanted to stop paying a government to tell him what he could and could not do?

Disease and pestilence have caused havoc in the past, too.  Few people seem to remember H1N1 in 2009, when schools were shut down here and there, not nationwide but as needed, for months. That pandemic officially lasted sixteen months, from April, 2009 to August, 2010.  HIV, Hong Kong flu, polio, the influenza outbreak of 1918, the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, locust swarms, Black Death, and a host of other things that I don’t even know about.

We think of being born into a royal family as a great thing, but was it really?  An uprising that resulted in a new family leading the country could mean the death of everyone in the deposed family.  That practice has gone on for millennia.  Not much of a problem, perhaps, for the peasants, but for those on the edge of royalty I imagine any uprising brought quite a bit of stress from uncertainty.

So what? 

This is what.  Uncertainty is almost as old as humanity.  Fear is as old as uncertainty. Today is not the first day ever of many people wondering what the future holds, with many hopeful and many fearful.  Covid is not yet the deadliest disease ever.  It may be the most uncertain day in your lifetime.  It may be the deadliest disease in your lifetime, but before you are sure of that, do a little research. 

I am sure of a few things. God did not start caring for people just yesterday.  He has walked beside us and carried us from the beginning of time. He has been with his children for millennia. He is able to strengthen us through whatever the future holds. We hold to this hope because he has done so in the past.  Bad stuff happens to people who follow God and people who don’t.  Our happiness depends a little on what happens to us and around us and a whole lot on how we respond to those things.  Our joy is found in resting in the arms of God.

May you have a joyful day, whatever your circumstances.

It rains on the just and the unjust. – Matthew 5:45

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

#bgwww21


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