by Joe Wooddell
Recently, a cold snap engulfed the United States and reminded me how delicate our prosperity really is. One cold, icy night can cause tree branches to take down power lines, pipes in our homes to burst, roads to become hazardous, and crops to fail (in turn driving up food prices). Preppers and planners tell us that grocery stores begin running out after three days with no trucks coming in. Generators become high demand items, and gasoline to power them becomes highly coveted.
Other weather-related disasters can have similar or even graver consequences. Hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, floods, and droughts can ruin entire communities or even countries.
Our health is no different. A simple illness or accident can devastate our lives and those who depend on us. I know a guy who ended up with a ten thousand dollar medical bill because he stepped on a toothpick. A twisted ankle or the flu can slow people down for days or weeks, and if they’re not on salary or living paycheck to paycheck it can be overwhelming.
We’ve all been told how scientists say if the Earth were just a little closer to the sun, we’d burn up, while if it were just a little further away we’d freeze. The suspected size of the universe is staggering. One science writer suggests that the universe is 93 billion light years across. (By way of reminder, that means if you traveled at the speed of light – 186,000 miles per second – you could traverse the universe in 93 billion years.)
Job security is also always uncertain, no matter how much we plan and strive for some guarantee that it will always be there. “Tenure” can be trumped by any number of things. Downsizing, economic streamlining, and technological advances can all leave us unemployed.
Now consider our relationships. They often seem in the most precarious position. Sometimes a wrong word, a wrong look or tone, or a poorly thought out email, tweet, or social media post can mean the end (or worse) of a relationship once considered unbreakable. Feelings are hurt, miscommunication and misunderstandings happen. Or it goes beyond mere misunderstanding and we actually do something stupid and hurtful. Then it can really get bad, and our lives begin to unravel. Or a relationship abruptly ends or fades because of death, job relocation, or as mentioned above, accident or illness.
Considering all this, I thank God I’m a Christian. The Bible says not to worry but to pray instead (Phil. 4:6-7), it says nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ (Rom. 8:31-39), that I am in the hand of God the Father and His Son (Jn. 10:28-29), that the Holy Spirit Himself prays for me (Rom. 8:26), that I’m more important than birds and flowers, and if God takes care of them He’ll take care of me (Lk. 12:24-28), that I can have abundant life (Jn. 10:10), that I’ll one day receive a crown of righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8), and that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory I’ll one day experience (Rom. 8:18). The list could go on. He is Lord over the weather, our health, the cosmos, our jobs, and our relationships. In Him everything (the cosmos, powers, everything!) holds together (Col. 1:17).
So in 2014 (and every year) while the cold lasts, and when the heat comes back, when accident and illness show up, and when relationships and jobs unravel, pray that God will fix them, that He will bless and prosper you. If He does, then praise and thank Him. If He does not, then praise and thank Him anyway, for who He is, and for what He’s doing in your life. (Easy to say from someone who’s not currently suffering, I know!) And remember that while life is precarious, those who are His have a future and a hope.