“When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” Then [Jesus] said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”
Anticipation Not Fear
Much of the United States is currently under a severe drought. (As I write, the Mississippi is at its lowest levels in decades, and barges are getting stuck. Several of the largest reservoirs in the western states are at their lowest point since their construction.) Hurricanes have created one of the costliest years ever, with lots of rebuilding needed that will take years. A war with mounting destruction and casualties continues to be fought in Europe as wary eyes watch on, praying there is no escalation in other countries or more destructive tactics.
I would like to think that it is all unique to 2022, but I know it’s not. As we have just seven weeks left of this year, I am sadly confident that what we experienced this year is not all that special. The specifics may change, but the condition of our world will remain the same. There will still be drought in many places. Peace treaties will always be just temporary documents. Storms will continue to bring their destructive forces to bear.
While events like these bring difficulty and sadness to the lives of Christians, they need not bring fear. Jesus told us that all these things would happen as signs that we are living in end times and that they will continue until the final end comes as both a sign and a symptom that we are living in a world with an expiration date. These signs of trouble and decay remind us to look past this world to the life to come—a life Jesus has already won for us when he came to this world the first time. And because he did, his followers can look forward to the day he comes again.
Lord, as I view the events of this world do not let me be afraid. Rather, remind me that it is as all a sign that you are coming soon. Amen.