We are bombarded every day with information that may cause fear, anger and disillusionment. We may even have feelings of “what’s the use?” Recently listening to the radio while driving home, I heard that by 2050 all human civilianization would collapse. If not by changes in the world’s climate, then by depression and famine caused by economic collapse. I’m told my only hope is to do exactly what they tell me. I’m offered a life-saving product and urged to subscribe to their newsletter,...or else.
Doomsday predictions are not new.
The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us in chapter one, verses nine through ten: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, ‘Look! This is something new?’ It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.”
A scan of history reveals many predictions of destruction and the end times. One such prediction was painted by famed Florentine artist Sandro Botticelli in 1500. It hangs at the National Gallery in London.
Botticelli believed himself to be living during what is known as the “Great Tribulation” and in his painting “The Mystical Nativity” he was predicting the millenium of Christ on earth as read about in the Book of Revelation. His beautiful painting depicts the joy and delight of angels dancing in the heavens. Near the bottom of the painting, three angels embrace three men as if to raise them from their graves while seven devils scurry to the underworld, some impaled on their own weapons. Botticelli died in 1510 and obviously did not experience the Tribulation or live to see Christ’s 1,000-year earthly reign.
Modern history has its predictions, too. I remember the hundreds of “Y2K” predictions. Computers would crash and malfunctions would lead to catastrophes worldwide resulting in society’s collapse. We waited. We held our breath watching the clock tick past midnight on December 31, 1999.
We are now living during the COVID-19 pandemic. To say during these months that people have experienced anxieties and hardship is an understatement. The not knowing produced fear. For some, their path was to be informed, to take precautions, and to be responsible. For others, fear drove them down a path of selfishness, even hoarding while others went without –– in some cases denying access to life-saving necessities.
But the most recent information about the virus is hopeful and I believe we are coming out on the other side. While remaining cautious, fears are subsiding.
During these past weeks, Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) experienced a great display of love and caring from our partners in ministry who have given sacrificially of their time and resources. I witnessed our BCH’s staff members go above and beyond on a daily basis taking extra duties and responsibilities while standing shoulder to shoulder to make sure our children, families and intellectual and developmentally disabled adults were cared for and protected. We thank those who stand with us daily and we salute our “frontline” staff who are truly super heroes in action.
The American novelist James Lane Allen wrote: “Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.” We have seen great character during this time by those who have stood with BCH. From across our great state, you have placed fear on the backburner and demonstrated great love for the children. Thank you for what you have done and continue to do for those most vulnerable –– for those who are often the most impacted at times like these. It is through your efforts that BCH is able to go forward serving with love and compassion the next weary soul that comes through our doors.
Isaiah 41:10 reads: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.”
During ancient times, during Y2K, during COVID-19, and during whatever is to come as the days unfold before us, God says, “Do not be afraid.” Let us commit to not letting fear dictate behavior and cause us to take and withhold instead of give. Grab His “righteous” hand and be comforted, then pass that comfort to the neighbor beside you.
Article written by Keith Henry, BCH Chief Operating Officer