“Hasten, O God, to save me; come quickly, Lord, to help me.” – Psalm 70:1
We see these words many times in the book of Psalms. David was in desolation when he wrote them, in hiding from wickedness and enemies, and this is a record of his faith through the struggles that he endured. I don’t know about anyone else, but there are days when I, like David, am literally desperate for an end to the madness of this world. It is overwhelming at times, the depravity that we constantly see and face. The local news alone is enough to raise anxiety levels, not to mention the national and world news networks which often ignite the already smoldering embers of intolerance and anger. It is easy to get caught up in the tornado, so-to-speak. We get sucked into political arguments, debates about sexuality, and (of course) arguments drawn from our cultural and religious differences…and we face every single one of these controversies several times in JUST ONE DAY! Much like a tornado, we get sucked in, thrown around and spat out in an entirely different place than we expected…and often with our thoughts and confidences obliterated. It’s not very difficult to reach the point of saying, “Come Lord Jesus!”
Here’s the thing though, none of this should take us by surprise. Right? We know that hard times are part of the plan. The earth is groaning in labor. A new day is being birthed.
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24: 3-14)
All of which to say that there will many more days when we cry out for an end. Just like a mother in labor, desperate to see the child she’s waited so long to meet, who is ready for an end to her suffering and discomfort, who (while in the emotional and physical throes of childbirth) will cry out for help and wonder when it will all be over, we too will become weary and frantic.
But please, please, please, remember that from labor pains comes new life! Our promise is eternal.
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3: 1-4)
So stand firm…in love. Bear the labor pains with hope in knowing that a greater promise awaits.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, as I see this world deteriorate, help me to remember Your promise. With the help of Your Holy Spirit, I know that I can stand firm until the end. I choose love, I choose righteousness, I choose YOU.