The chatty young cashier and I joked about the kinds of things people have been stockpiling and having to wear masks. Then as she handed me my receipt she said seriously, with fear behind her eyes, “Some people say these are signs the world is about to end.” She watched me, apparently waiting for a response from me. Just then the bagger asked a question, and she turned to take care of the matter. I had missed my chance.
The question has haunted me, though. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to expect the end of the world without the framework the Bible gives us. It just so happened that I had been reading in Luke about the final week of Jesus. As I read Chapter 21, I was struck by the contrast between the way the cashier seems to view “the end” and how God calls us to respond.
Jesus talks about people fainting with fear and foreboding of what is coming on the world (vs. 26). For his followers, however, he offers these words of encouragement:
“And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified” (vs. 9).
“This will be your opportunity to witness” (vs. 13).
“By your endurance you will gain your lives” (vs. 19).
“Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (vs. 28).
What a different perspective he calls his own to have! He then adds this caution: “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life [I wonder if that includes toilet paper], and that day will come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34-36).
Is the world about to end? We don’t know the day or hour, but we have some pretty clear instructions on how to respond! Praise God, we have nothing to fear if we keep his perspective. Let’s use our opportunities to share the hope we have. ~ written by Viki Rife, from womenofgraceusa.wordpress.com