Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. – Isaiah 54:10
Historians will readily note that 1968 was one of the most tumultuous years in our country’s history. I was born a few years later, so I didn’t experience this first hand. But from conversations with people who lived through it and from my studies in history classes, I can appreciate the struggles and sacrifices we made as our nation experienced tremendous changes.
Consider the social issues that the nation faced over segregation and civil rights. Add to that the heated debate raging throughout the country over America’s military involvement in Vietnam. 1968 was the year of a presidential election so contentious that the incumbent President, Lyndon Johnson, decided not to seek re-election. Finally, we saw senseless violence through the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and presidential candidate, Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Riots broke out in many cities across the nation leaving dozens dead, thousands injured, property damaged, and local economies ruined.
I find myself thinking about 1968 as I consider the state of our nation today: Bombings in Boston, explosions in Texas, toxins being mailed to our elected officials, Washington politics hopelessly deadlocked in partisan feuds, gun control arguments raging, an abortion doctor’s tale of malpractice and murder, a decade-long military conflict yet unfinished, a potential new enemy making threats, even the weather has been nothing short of bizarre. Some might say that society is on the brink. It sure feels like we’re at the edge of a cliff, standing on ice and banana peels while wearing roller skates. It’s frustrating, disheartening and makes you scratch your head and wonder what could possibly be coming next.
Probably the way many people felt back in 1968.
So if things were so bad back then, why didn’t we go over the edge and meet our demise? As society continues to move ever closer to self-destruction, we need to be reminded that in spite of what more and more people believe, we are living in a world that was created, sustained and will be ultimately delivered by a God who is bigger than any catastrophic event our sinful hearts can devise. He tells us in Jeremiah that He knows the plans that He has for us – plans to prosper, not harm. Plans offering two things that we need now more than ever: hope and a future.
Maybe your struggles hit closer to home. Is your marriage is under attack? Are your children failing at school and hanging with the wrong crowd? Did your boss inform you that you have no future with the company? Was the doctor’s diagnosis grim? Cling to the promises brought forth in the word of God, empowered by the grace that comes from the death and resurrection of our Savior. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been or how bad things have gotten, God’s power is limitless, His love is unfailing and He is waiting there for you, for all of us, to deliver us away from the precipice and to deliver us to peace, joy, and salvation.
Stay strong in the face of every trial, confident in the knowledge that your future is assured in the power of the Lord.