I mean, we live in the great nation of the United States of America, right?! Even with that sense of pride, there have been a few occurrences that have shaken my comfort zone and made me realize how vulnerable we really are regardless of the protection we enjoy in the US.
I grew up during the Ronald Regan era when we saw how the U.S. was instrumental to end of the Cold War and later how our great nation influenced the Persian Gulf War. These and other incidents formed my sense of safety in our nation as the super power.
In 2001, when the U.S. was hit by terrorism. At the time, I was reminded of all that I had seen in the past happening in other countries during war and political unrest. The city I knew and loved (New York City), now looked like a war zone due to the terroristic actions.
This was not happening in a faraway place, to a county that did not have strong security measures, but it was here in the US, the super power, my country.
As years went on, things that affected the rest of the world did not really hit “home”, but they were things happening elsewhere, building again the feeling of security in the security of being an American.
In early 2020, we saw how so many around the world were dying from the effects of COVID-19. We saw everyone in the world walk around in a mask and major cities closing down. This made me grateful for being in the U.S. and not having to deal with that kind of a life.
But then as the pandemic became rampant in the U.S. and even worse, it started to affect those I know and love, I was hit hard with the realization that we in the U.S. are not exempt from this virus. Is it possible for a country like the U.S., with modern technology, a high degree of hygiene and advanced medical research to succumb to a virus killing so many?
Over the last 10 months, in creating a new normal for our daily life, I have come to understand the significance of the verse, “I must find rest in God only, because my hope comes from him! Only God is my rock and my salvation — my stronghold! — I will not be shaken.” — Psalm 62:5–6
Then, came the incident of January 6th on Capitol Hill, our nation’s symbol of democracy, where a protest turned into a murder ground. The scenes of this event seemed to be from another county, where there is no law and order, where there is no democracy, and where there is no respect for authority. It was a hard reality to witness that this level of anger, discord, and disregard for the justice system was happening in this great nation.
As I watched the news, I was in amazement thinking, “these kinds of incidents do not happen to us…we are the super power…we are a safe country…we protect our people and the people of the world…these are events we read about in other countries.”
But I was saddened and fearful of the reality of what I was seeing and hearing. Again, I was reminded, that my confidence only comes from my God; it is He who created the heavens and the earth and all that live in it.
This was yet another awakening for me to understand the greatness of God and to know that He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold. It is with the strength that I have in Him that I will not be shaken. It is easy to have a sense of security and comfort in the things that are constant or in those who have been our strength and encouragement.
It is human nature to be in the safe zone and always want to see, feel or touch before we trust in something. We believe in someone only through our own witness or the witness of someone we trust, we buy something only after trying it on or reading the many reviews of those who have bought it, or we go to a restaurant only after reading the Yelp ratings.
However, Romans 8: 24 and 25 says, “We were saved in hope. If we see what we hope for, that isn’t hope. Who hopes for what they already see? But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.”
Even when we see no reason to have hope, we must. We must wait patiently for the Lord.
I am often encouraged by the life of Ruth in terms of her hope and trust in things she did not know. She was a woman who had just lost her husband at a young age, but instead of going back to the life she knew with her parents, she decided to go on a journey to a new land following her mother in law. She had just lost all that she knew and had security in, but she held on to the hope that she saw in the God of her mother in law.
When she got to Bethlehem, she was a foreigner, but she trusted in God to meet their needs. This confidence in knowing who she was and whom she belonged to got her favor from Boaz and ultimately allowed her to be in the lineage of Jesus Christ.
The kind of hope and trust that Ruth displayed takes a great deal of courage, strength and faith. It is easy for us Christians to say that we should put our hope in God, but when things get difficult, or when things around us start to shake, or what we counted as safe is wavering, can we stand with confidence and say that, “some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” and truly mean it?
This hope will never be depleted because His Word says he will always be there for us…He will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 10: 23 “Let’s hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, because the one who made the promises is reliable.”