Psalm 46:1-3 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. (KJV)
Recently I made changes to the script that updates the Daily Devotional each morning, to make it ready for Y2K, the year 2000. Many computers use only two digits to store dates, and without changes, they will interpret "00" as 1900. On New Year's Eve, our script normally calculates the date of the New Year's Day devotional by adding 1 to the current year, 99, which would make next year 100. Similarly, on New Year's Day, by subtracting 1 from 00, the date of the New Year's Eve devotional would be calculated as -1. The year 2000 is also a leap year, which we've not had since Daily started three years ago.
Our glitches at Daily are nothing in comparison to the problems faced by utilities, companies, hospitals and governments that have to reprogram billions of lines of code or replace equipment that can't be upgraded. And because even after the authorities think they have covered everything, no-one can guarantee a trouble-free transition to 2000, many people are fearful, anxious or worried about what may happen. Hearing words thrown around, like "computer meltdown" and "economic chaos", doesn't help either.
What attitude is a Christian to take? This is a tremendous opportunity for Christians to set an example for the unbelieving world. We believe that "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7). That means that no matter what happens to us, God will guard us and keep us, and that He is still in control. Even in the midst of chaos, we can experience His "peace that passes understanding." When Christians are calm amid chaos, we will have abundant opportunities to explain about our faith, because non-Christians are watching.
But how can we have that peace? Years ago, I was in a situation where my career was threatened. As events unfolded one afternoon, the words of today's scripture came to mind. I could see myself as if surrounded by chaos, with the ground slipping away all around me. But I stood safe on unmoveable ground because of the protection of the Lord. As it turned out, that was entirely true, and I was given His peace all during the process. That same peace can belong to anyone, no matter what the chaos. Just take Him at his Word.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for that incredible gift of peace that is beyond our understanding. Help us, by the power of Your indwelling Spirit, to experience the fullness of Your gift, and be a shining example to those around us who may be filled with fear. Amen.