Nations Rage, Kingdoms Totter; God Remains Our Refuge

By Tom Gilson

It might be just my impression, but it sure seems like there’s a lot of turmoil in the world these days.

Some of it surely has to do with events in my own family. This week my wife and I are back in my hometown helping my dad clear out his condo following his transition into assisted living. It’s the kind of thing you’re glad to be able to help with, but it’s also a lot of work, and there’s a lot of emotion attached to the transition.

My dad has always been — and still is — a man of strong character. I took him out for breakfast this morning at the famous “Cops and Doughnuts” shop in Clare, Michigan, two counties away from home, mostly to get us away from all the work, and sit and talk a bit. When we got home afterward, as he was climbing out of the car, he told me, “Getting old is hard.”

Seeing your dad get old is hard, too.

But it was a good morning. We talked about the Olympics. We talked about sail boating, which we used to do a lot, years ago. We talked about politics, too, and also about the strange turn sexual morality has taken. The location was significant to the conversation in a way. The “Cops and Doughnuts” bakery has been there for more than a hundred years, under a different name. It was in danger of closing down several years ago when the entire Clare City Police Department decided to rescue it. They’ve turned it into quite an attraction. But of course the “cops” theme got us wondering what the mood was like there following the police shooting incidents that have hit the news lately.

My dad has seen a lot of changes in the world. He went through the Depression, he fought in World War II, and then he did an outstanding job of raising a family. Now he’s seeing the world turn very strange. I’ve heard him say he’s “not too unhappy” he’s not going to be sticking around long enough to see it continue getting stranger. Of course we’re praying that will turn around — but I get his point.

And yet I am optimistic. Yes, America is in an uproar like we haven’t seen in decades. Yes, the nations are raging, and whole countries and cultures are tottering on the brink. It’s easy to focus on the uneasiness, but I think that’s why God gave us Psalm 46, which speaks hope to exactly to this situation. It begins…

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