The LORD is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. – Psalms 9:9
3 “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.”
5 “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.”
6 “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.”
7 “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.”
8 “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.”
9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.”
In 2020, the Corona Virus resulted in millions of deaths, tens of millions of people ill, and world-wide upheaval. But COVID-19 also left “a trail of quieter heartbreaks” (WSJ).
Once-in-a-lifetime events such as proms, graduations, weddings were canceled or postponed. Often both births and deaths occurred in isolation from critical family members. It was so sad and tragic.
It brings to mind one of the worst historical occurrences of the twentieth century. Far fewer people were affected by the event itself. The tragedy was recorded by an eyewitness reporter that was also filmed by cameras on the scene for the purpose of making newsreels.
Herbert Morrison’s eyewitness report for radio station WLS in Chicago was broadcast the next day. Parts of Morrison’s broadcast were later dubbed onto newsreel footage. The Hindenburg Disaster shocked the world.
Here is a partial transcript of the broadcast recorded as the tragedy unfolded.
It’s burst into flames! Get this, Charlie; get this, Charlie! It’s fire… and it’s crashing! It’s crashing terrible! Oh, my! Get out of the way, please! It’s burning and bursting into flames and the… and it’s falling on the mooring mast and all the folks between it. This is terrible; this is one of the worst catastrophes in the world. Oh it’s… [unintelligible] its flames… Crashing, oh! oh, four or five hundred feet into the sky, and it’s a terrific crash, ladies and gentlemen.
There’s smoke, and there’s flames, now, and the frame is crashing to the ground, not quite to the mooring mast. Oh, the humanity, . . . I can’t talk, ladies and gentlemen.
Honest: it’s just lying there, a mass of smoking wreckage. Ah! And everybody can hardly breathe and talk and the screaming. I… I… I’m sorry. Honest: I… I can hardly breathe. I… I’m going to step inside, where I cannot see it. . . I’m gonna have to stop for a minute because I’ve lost my voice. This is the worst thing I’ve ever witnessed.
REFLECT & PRAY
Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16).
Father because of Your Word we are not in the dark about these things and should not be surprised. Help us to walk as children of the light and of the day (1 Thessalonians 5:4-5).
Many children of the King get tripped up over minor bumps and slights they experience. Others suffer quieter heartbreaks from missed once-in-a-lifetime events. But on the other hand, there are those who did not miss out on tremendous anticipated and hoped for thrills. However, years later the excitement and glory of the moment faded and simply passed into insignificance. The story is told of the co-captain of the UCLA football team who against all odds, beat undefeated Michigan State in the 1966 Rose Bowl. Years later the exhilaration faded and the bliss diminished. As time passed, his once-in-a-lifetime experience proved to be not that important after all.
Overcoming far more dramatic losses is often much more difficult. The Scriptures are clear, the greatest trouble the world is ever seen is yet future.
The final half of the seventieth week of Daniel is referred to as the Great and Terrible Tribulation. Children of the King who are alive at the time, as well as members of the nation of Israel, will suffer as they have never suffered before.
21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.
22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.
Each child of the King will face grievous life or death choices for themselves and their families. Defiance of the Antichrist will result in execution (Revelation 20:4). His favorite targets will be Jews and Christians (Revelation 12:17).
As the Last Days approach, only the Father in heaven knows the exact day and hour. It is wise to be aware and alert. Prudence requires that we prepare for the extraordinarily difficult times ahead before the triumphal return of the Lord Jesus Christ in glory.
John 16:33 “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I have overcome the world.”
Father has given us His Word to enlighten and guide each of His children. We are to be ready for what lies ahead. Now is the time for us to immerse ourselves in His Word as never before.
Revelation 22:7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book.”