We live today in a constant fog—uncertain when the pandemic will end, whether the economy will recover, whether inequities in our society will improve and social unrest will ease. We move forward because we must, but we have no idea what’s around the bend.
It’s taking a toll on all of us. As I talk with neighbors and co-workers, underneath each conversation is a palpable sense of concern about the future.
I know I feel it. A new boss and changes at work are making me wonder if my job will still be there next year. Also, my wife and I decided, just before the coronavirus quarantines, to move to a new house within walking distance of the schools our boys attend. But ever since, it’s been unclear whether they’ll even be going to school in those buildings. It’s also unclear if we even should send them back to school amidst a pandemic.
Others have much bigger concerns than I do. A job already lost. A mortgage they can’t pay. A family member who’s sick. A spouse working in health care or retail or who is going back to teach a roomful of kids.
We have no detailed answers to these worries. But in these uncertain times, I’ve found the Reformed doctrine that the Bible is sufficient for all of faith and life to be truer than ever.
“Fear not,” God told His people in Isaiah 41:10. “I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
God made good on that promise throughout the Bible:
- After the Israelites left Egypt, they were soon trapped between the Red Sea and the advancing Egyptian army. But God split the sea so they could walk right through it. (Exodus 14) And He still splits the seas in our lives today.
- When the Israelites were out of water in the desert, God brought food from the sky (Exodus 16) and water from a rock (Exodus 17). And when our resources are depleted today, He still provides for us.
- The Israelites under Joshua were told to “attack” a walled city by simply walking around it repeatedly and shouting to the Lord. Yet the “army of Lord” and its commander also showed up, and the walls fell. (Joshua 5:13-6:25) God continues to fight for his people, tearing down the walls they cannot.
- Jesus’ disciples got themselves caught in a storm on the Sea of Galilee, but Jesus calmed that storm with just two words. (Matt. 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25). Jesus continues to carry us through, and even end, the storms we face.
I’ve found these stories from the Bible particularly comforting during today’s uncertainties. God has done the impossible for His people in the past—splitting seas, bringing water from rocks, crumbling stone walls and calming raging storms—and He continues to do what seems impossible today.
The Bible can’t tell me how God will provide a job, a house or safety from a virus, but it does tell us that He can and He does take care of His people—even when they can’t see how. In uncertain times, that knowledge is sufficient for me.
J.K. Wall is the author of “Messiah the Prince Revisited,” published by Crown & Covenant Publications. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife Christina and their three boys, John, Arthur and Theodore.