But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. – Psalm 59:16
By Fr. Christopher Waters
When I was in elementary school in the 1960’s, the world was a very different place. We thought nothing of standing to say the Pledge of Allegiance or having the Ten Commandments hanging on the wall outside of the principal’s office. We rarely locked our doors, I was free to ride my bicycle all over the neighborhood and telephones had cords.
I do remember the older folks in town frowning when my hair got over my ears, but theirs was a different generation. I was too young to see both the good and the bad as cultural norms changed.
Now, I am officially an “older folk.” I have aged long enough to see the changes in our society that have occurred over the last 50 years or so. I have to say that, for me, the world looks much like what St. Paul described in the third chapter of 2 Timothy when he said:
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.”
However, each generation before me may have felt the same way. They probably saw changes they don’t like and recognized the possibility that they were witnessing the final days before Jesus’ return.
Actually, all of us certainly should see the signs of our decay signaling Jesus’ return. Every day brings us closer to the end. However, we should not allow the world’s decay to disillusion us. We know and love Jesus. We know our future. Regardless of whether Jesus’ return is now or still generations to come, we know the Lord’s strength and steadfast love. We know that we can sing of His goodness. We can rejoice in our future with Him, for He has been for us a fortress and a refuge in the days of distress.
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