The world in his hands

What I’m about to say has been said so often by so many generations that it has found its way into quite a few clichés. Take your pick.

“We had it good back in the good old days . . .”

“Back when I was a kid we didn’t even have to lock our doors . . .”

“When I was growing up I had to walk to and from school barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways.” (usually implying that people were tougher back then)

What the clichés suggest is that things are changing, and they’re definitely not good.

So I say this, fully recognizing it’s been said before.

We live in scary times . . . times that are different than they used to be and perhaps indicative of significant societal changes to come. Far-reaching decisions are being made at high levels, and more and more folks around us do not seem to care about the biblical foundations of ethics and morals.

A couple of years ago Cardinal Francis George said, “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.” He was speaking to the increasing secularization of our society and its potential effects.

Perhaps you’ve said something similar. Maybe you’ve worried about the kind of world your kids or grandkids will live in. There’s no way to know, of course, and no amount of hand-wringing will help.

But it’s good to put things in perspective. Christianity has experienced some of its most incredible growth during times of persecution, and, as I heard someone say recently, the darker it gets, the brighter light shines.

We don’t know what God has planned for our country, but we know that he’s got plans. Presidential statements, Supreme Court rulings, and laws and resolutions don’t surprise or worry him. The changing sentiments and fickle whims of people without God don’t undermine what he’s accomplishing in the world.

Cardinal George went on to say, “His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.” Though I would disagree with what he means by “church,” I agree with his sentiments.

Whatever happens here will happen under the loving and providential eye of an omnipotent God, and he will use his people as he has done for thousands of years.

It reminds me of the old VBS song, “He’s got the whole world in his hands”:

“He’s got the whole world in His hands . . . He’s got my brothers and my sisters in His hands . . . He’s got the sun and the rain in His hands . . . He’s got the moon and the stars in His hands . . . He’s got the wind and the clouds in His hands . . . He’s got the rivers and the mountains in His hands . . . He’s got the oceans and the seas in His hands . . . He’s got you and he’s got me in His hands . . . He’s got everybody here in His hands . . . He’s got everybody there in His hands . . . He’s got everybody everywhere in His hands . . . He’s got the whole world in His hands.”

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand (Proverbs 19:21).

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