When riding down the Oregon coast highway, we came across a sign that read, "Entering danger zone for tsunami." We were on a cliff with houses overlooking the ocean. About three blocks later, "Ending danger zone for tsunami." I wouldn’t want to live in those three blocks. What would make it stop there? I began reading that tsunamis resemble a rapidly rising flood. Most are less than ten feet high when they hit land but can reach more than 100 feet high. Areas less than 25 feet above sea level and within a mile of the sea will be in the greatest danger.
Talk about times of uncertainty? Any time unusual or unlikely things happen, we think they are times of uncertainty. Since last February, I have felt times becoming more and more uncertain, and I have used the term "times of uncertainty.” The Pine Valley United Methodist Church staff is reading a devotion book by Seedbed called “Wilderness Global Pandemic Edition.” It is about tough times and asks this question, "Can you remind me when we actually lived in certain times?" It said that uncertain times mean we see more sin and death than we are used to. We are used to being shielded from these things. We will do anything we can to shield ourselves from uncertainty. We do not like it because all we can do is hope and pray. When times are uncertain, we are not in control. We know we are going to have tough times. John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
In Psalm 22, David voices his frustrations about not feeling God in a moment of need. But he acknowledges that even though he feels abandoned, he knows God is still God, and God is still good. God is always there to help us. Psalm 22:19, "But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me." God never abandons us. Psalm 22:24, "For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help." With God, no one can defeat us. Psalm 22:27-28, "All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations." Think about this! WOW! We can trust God to be there with us no matter what we are going through! Psalm 22:3-5, "Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. In you, our ancestors put their trust; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you, they cried out and were saved; in you, they trusted and were not put to shame." And the same is true for us today! These same promises that David holds onto are for us during our suffering.
Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Nothing can keep us from God's love and protection. Jesus does not want us to live in fear. Nor do we want to live in fear. Psalm 91:4-5, "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings, you will find refuge and his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day..." Psalm 107:19, "Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress." Psalm 118:5-6, "When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
I’ll close with a quote from Corrie ten Boom: "When a train goes through a tunnel, and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer."