In Times Like These

Ruth Caye Jones read the headlines of the Pittsburgh newspaper on a morning in 1943. This pastor’s wife and mother of five saw the casualty lists from World War II and faced another bleak day of rations and sacrifice as war ground on in Europe and the Pacific. She wrote these words:

In times like these you need a Savior,
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
!

Ruth Jones had been reading the Bible book of 2 Timothy. Chapter 3 begins with these words, “In the last days, terrible times will come.” Though her wartime feelings underscored the words, her renewed mind chose not to linger in the dark place. She remembered another Bible verse, Hebrews 6:19, which speaks of Jesus Christ with these words, “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul…” The two thoughts coalesced into the Gospel song that many have loved for decades.

The song has come to me in recent weeks. Fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes have filled our newsfeeds. More gut-wrenching than these natural disasters are the actions of a crazed gunman in Las Vegas. The international background noise is amplified by threats and counter-threats of small men with big weapons.

There’s more than enough trouble to go round in the world. And most of us live with some, perhaps much, personal heartache. As we view distant disasters on our phones, we soldier on in the face of ill-health, unemployment, addiction or abandonment. In times like these, we need an anchor.

Matthew’s Gospel (Chapter 7) records a story Jesus told. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Upon what or whom does your life rest in restless times? Jesus’ story is filled with moving parts like people, houses, and storms. The wise choose to rest on the one immovable rock, Jesus, an anchor for the best and worst of life and death. In times like these, be very sure your anchor holds and grips the solid rock.