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Remembering The End of the World

Was it really only ten years ago that all of us were worried about the end of the world? OK, maybe you weren’t worried, but a lot of folks were concerned that either their computers would malfunction, the electric grid would stop working, there would be massive food shortages or something unimaginably worse would happen. Thankfully, none of that happened, except, perhaps for that last bit.

I recall rushing out and buying a new generator. Those were difficult items to find in the waning days of 1999. People were sincerely concerned about power failure, and generators were selling for a premium. I was glad that I had mine… several years later… when the big ice storms hit and the power was out for nearly a week. That’s when I finally got to use my generator. I was not able to use it on the dreaded occasion of Y2K.

One thing I recall about entering the year 2000 was the overall pervasiveness of shared optimism. Back then, everyone seemed to feel good about the future – providing we would all survive Y2K, of course. This was to be more than an ordinary New Year. This was a new century. A new millennium! Gone, it was claimed, were the issues and struggles of the past. We were said to be on the cusp of a bold, new world. A world without the conflicts of the past. A world of peace and prosperity for all. Little did we know.

Who would have imagined, save for those plotting the dastardly deed, that nearly two years into the new century we would witness the deadly attacks of 9/11/2001 and the “war on terror” that has reigned since that date? None of the prophets of peace and prosperity in 1999 could be held accountable for missing that prediction. Hate is a difficult emotion to anticipate. Its outbreak is seldom foreseen.

Likewise, who – in 1999 – would have predicted that both General Motors and Chrysler would have declared bankruptcy before the end of this decade? OK, some may have guessed that of Chrysler, but who would have thought it of GMC? And the shake-up in the banking industry? And real-estate? The global economic depression? Who was warning us of those things a decade ago? Not many were giving such warnings, if any at all. Greed and panic, it seems, are also difficult to anticipate.

Now we are about to enter the second decade of the new century somewhat less sure of ourselves. In this decade, we have an ancient warning of some cataclysmic event to occur in the year 2012. Whatever shall we do? Should we stock up on food and purchase generators?

When it comes to the future, I’ve learned to take comfort in the predictions of God’s Word. The Bible’s authors reveal that, yes, there will be some unnatural and disconcerting events in the future, but the people of God have nothing to fear from all of that. Those whom God selects, He protects.

When it comes to the future, no one except for God knows what is actually going to happen. It’s best to trust in Him and forget all of the other predictions. God has told us enough for us to know: That justice and righteousness prevail. We know that evil, sin and death are doomed. Everlasting life belongs to those who trust in Jesus Christ. That’s one truth that you can “take to the bank.”

Who or what are you trusting in this new decade? Here’s praying your trust is found in Him.

Prayers for you in this New Year,

Pastor Clint

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