Will Things Ever Be the Same?
“Will anything ever be the same again?” It’s a haunting question. I’ve asked it before. I remember sitting with a team of speakers and colleagues at a conference in New Delhi on September 11, 2001. We knew the world had been forever changed.
Though ominous and wrenching, the events of September 11 could not and did not change the One! And neither has COVID-19. The world will never be the same again; but, to emphasize the redundant, God will always be the same—again and again and again!
With helpless humbled hearts, bent knees, submissive raised hands and querying minds, we turn to the only source of real hope and lasting peace: “God is our refuge and strength.” I often rehearse this assurance of Psalm 46.
Neither the military, nor politicians, nor financiers; not the police, nor government, nor technology; not globalization, nor stocks, nor any other human enterprise will be our refuge and strength. Our harbor of hope is Almighty God—the Only Unchangeable in a world of variables.
“The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” (vs. 7, 11). His very presence is our “very present help” (v. 1).
As we look back at a year marked by the disruption of personal security and global stability, God calls His congregation to, “Be still, and know that I am God” (v. 10).
In this new year, self-generated optimism will not get us very far. Instead, we must cling to something—or rather, Someone—more constant. Though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled; though the mountains shake with its swelling, “we will not fear” (vs. 2-3), because God’s very presence with His people is the Constant constant.
Though nothing will be the same on the earth again (and this is unlikely the last threat we will see in our lifetimes), God’s person is unalterable, His promises unchangeable, His position unmovable, His intentions unquestionable, and His purposes undefeatable.
“I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (v. 10), He asserts.
Between now and this promised future in time, and here and there in place, in the middle of the variables, there is one dependable, reliable constant—God’s “very” presence, immediate, proximate and intimate.
His global exaltation and worldwide recognition is being accomplished even through these cataclysmic times. Our first words in heaven, says C.S. Lewis, will be, “Of course.”