Just as life seemed to be returning to normal, the COVID-19 pandemic cases were dropping, states were rescinding mask mandates, people were returning to work, and families started to go on vacation again, then we woke up to the news that Russia invaded Ukraine, its smaller neighbor. And, the world was thrown into another crisis. This Russian invasion could potentially affect the whole world, and only God knows how it will end and how many people will be affected and lose their lives. We are living in a time when we indeed need to be very sure that our “anchor holds and grips the solid Rock, who is Jesus.”
The world will go from one crisis to another, but we know that God in His mercy will continue to guide His people. Whether we are in a pandemic or war, we can rest assured that God is in control of our lives. He is in control of our church; He is in control of our country; and, yes, He is in control of this world.
I once heard the story about a sailor who was in a shipwreck and was thrown to a rock where he clung and held on until the storm passed, the water receded, and he was rescued. When he finally made it home, one of his friends asked him: “Were you not afraid when the wind was blowing; didn’t you shake with fear?” He answered: “Yes, I was, but the rock did not move.”
Someone recently asked me, “How can you be calm and composed in times of high stress and trouble?” The answer is simply because God is our Rock, and He is in control of our lives. He is the Captain of our vessel, and He will keep us safe and secure until we arrive at our destination. In times of trouble and uncertainty, “though the earth is transformed and the mountains are toppled into the depths of the seas, though their waters roar and foam and the mountains quake in the surge” (Psalm 46:2, 3, NIV), we need to remember the Lord’s admonition: “ ‘Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted over the earth.’ The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:10, 11 (NIV).
Troubles, uncertainties, and strife in the world and around us often bring distress, anguish, and difficulties to us individually and to our family members. Ellen White wrote that “Afflictions are oft mercies in disguise. We know not what we might have been without them. When God in His mysterious providence overthrows all our cherished plans, and we may receive sorrow in the place of joy, we will bow in submission and say, ‘Thy will, O God, be done.’ We must and we will ever cherish a calm, religious trust in One who loves us, who gave His life for us”—Daughters of God, p. 223.
Troubles will come and go. Pandemics will come and go. As we draw nearer and nearer to the end of time, there will be more wars and rumors of wars. There will be more trouble, distress, anguish, and deaths, but knowing that God is in control of our lives, we can always accept David’s invitation in Psalm 95:1 “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.”