Spiritual Growth

The Beginnings of Sorrows

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

It can be difficult to make peace with what is happening around us, and to us. COVID-19 has permanently impacted our lives. We have all experienced a degree of loss, and for many of us the loss has been unimaginable. We have been separated from loved ones, lost our careers, and have reached the edges of mental stability. In what seemed like a short amount of time, the entire world changed. The things we took for granted were taken away, and yet, we are still here trying to navigate through a tumultuous environment.

And let’s be honest – social media isn’t helping. Accurate news mixed with false news mixed with information given out of context leaves us wondering – what’s really true?  Is what I just read a conspiracy theory or is this person onto something I’ve missed. Can I trust my normal news channels? Do I even want to watch or read the news? Does it get better? Is this the end? What am I supposed to do? There are so many questions, and we’re all seeking answers – so here is mine.

These are the beginnings of sorrows 1

I take no real pleasure in writing those words, because what comes next is a series of mild ups and catastrophic downs. We’re on a turbulent ride that eventually takes us to the finish line. Once we arrive, it’s great – but it’s the getting there that scares most people into wishing this on a different generation. And yet, here we are.

I’ve often been asked what makes this time different from other times in history. This isn’t the first-time society has been off course. A quick crash course on the book of Revelation teaches us a key lesson about the close of history – there are no real gaps once we get started, and the impact is worldwide. Prophecy speaks to a series of devastating events that start with “seals” (Revelation 6), then a series of trumpets to signal events (Revelation 8 & 9), and lastly a series of seven bowls poured out (Revelation 16). These events happen everywhere. They are destructive in nature and continuous. They are heart-breaking and gut-wrenching, and new waves of disaster just seem to keep coming.

Consider them warning signs. They are signaling to us that we are approach the close of an age. So while we’re combating global warming, shifting world powers, crashing economies, and pandemics, we are also experiencing volatile weather, rumors of new wars, and severe violations of human rights around world. Chaos will continue as we cannot seem to keep up with the locust destroying crops in East Africa, the concerns with cryptocurrency, the rise in protests, and the general suffering of humanity.

Many will try to figure out what to do next. Can we vote this away? Create new policies? Start a revolution? There has to be something we can do, because doing something is better than doing nothing. Right?

What Will Come, Will Come

I hear your questions because I experience them myself. No matter my personal answer, one thing remains true – we cannot stop what is to come. What will come, will come – prophecy tells us that much but what we don’t know, is when it will come. Jesus told us while He was here on Earth that:

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”

Matthew 24:36

So how should we spend our time?

We can choose to spend time fixating on political leaders we don’t like and situations we can’t change. We can choose to become distracted by life’s complications and the need to escape them. We can choose to completely ignore what is happening and pretend that it does not affect us. We all have our reasons for our choices, but in the end, they are just that – choices.

Choices give us the right to review different options. We’ve had the power of choice since the beginning of time, and just like in the days of the garden of Eden – our choices matter. If we choose to let what is happening consume us, then we will be consumed. If we choose, however, to face what is happening, then we will better understand what Jesus meant in Luke 19:13, when He said in a parable “Occupy till I come”.

We are to use our time wisely, understanding that we are accountable to God for our actions. When we accept we are in the closing phase of this journey, we’ll spend less time being surprised about what’s happening, and more time on finding ways to still be a light in this world. Our faith will increase as the depths of our relationship with God grows deeper. The crashing waves will stop pushing us around as our feet grow steady. Our courage will become rooted in God as we move forward. We will hear His voice and understand His will for us. Though false prophets will arise, we will not be moved.

For many, the beginnings of sorrows are marked by pain. If we keep our eyes on God, they will also be marked by strength and glory. God does not abandon those He loves, and He will not abandon us when we find ourselves in need. I know these are difficult times, but the weight of the sorry can feel overwhelming. Don’t give up and don’t give in. God is committed to seeing us all the way through, we just have to stay focused on Him.

1 Matthew 24

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