One of my goals in 2015 is to read more. Doesn’t matter what it is – books, magazines, newspapers – I just thought it was a good goal to set because normally the only time I read anything other than the Southern Savers website to see what is on sale at Publix is when I plow through 2 or 3 books while sitting on the beach over a long weekend.
So I thought I’d try to get smarter and I would read the Wall Street Journal. My college child subscribed to the WSJ last summer to earn bonus points in her econ class (whatever it takes, my friends) and I don’t think any of us ever took it out of the wrapper all summer long.
For some reason we’re still getting the WSJ, and thanks to my sister-in-law I learned I could get it online and read it on my iPad. That was a serious A-ha! moment for me, because we OCD types do NOT like any residue left on our fingers from any product, and we particularly don’t like the feeling left over from newspapers and Cheetos.
The upside to reading the WSJ is I’m more informed about world events than I have been in a long time. Want to know what’s up with Greece’s debt? I’m you’re girl. Have a question about Russia systematically taking over the Ukraine? Ask away. Need help understanding net neutrality? Pull up a chair.
But there’s a downside to all of this too, and that is I’ve read way too much about what’s going on in the world, and it ain’t pretty right now. Christians, including children, are being persecuted, beheaded and crucified – yes, that’s right, crucified – at an alarming rate. Facebook now has 58 options when you want to choose your gender (I’m not making that up – look it up). And one of my favorites – the leaders of our government think it’s OK for Iran to gradually build up their abilities to manufacture nuclear weapons. (Has America forgotten Iran’s primary target is Israel?)
So if I think about all that I read for too long, I’d probably never go back out my front door. It’s a scary roller coaster world out there, and we’re all strapped in for the ride.
Sometimes I wonder, “Is this it? Is this the beginning of the end?” and I’m sure throughout history people have wondered the same thing. It’s not for me to figure that out – I ain’t got time for that. My job is to serve and love others so that they will experience Jesus through me and come to know Him as their Lord and Savior before the end comes.
And when I focus on that goal, and not the news of the world, the fear subsides and I can get on with my day knowing I cannot stop ISIS but I can make someone’s day here in Auburn, Alabama a little better.
The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Galatia, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6)
It is times like these that Christians can either shrink away in fear, or they can boldly proclaim their faith and through their acts of kindness and service bring hope to a world that so desperately needs it.
When fear starts creeping in we must trust in God’s sovereignty. Nothing is a surprise to Him, nothing catches God off guard. And we should not be surprised about what is going on in the world. We know satan fell from heaven and roams the earth and is the author of evil, lies and chaos.
The world is a dark and scary place, but it doesn’t have to keep anyone gripped in fear, for the God we serve is the beginning and the end, the way, the truth and the life. He will never leave us or forsake us, and there are people around you that need to hear that today.
The world needs you. Be the light of truth and the point of hope for someone today.