By Mary Hunt Webb

Posted Sunday, April 3, 2011

Recently, someone asked me if the earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan and the troubles in the Middle East are indications that the end times are upon us.

An image of two galaxies.

That question reminded me that my husband’s maternal grandmother had been certain that the Great Depression and the disastrous dust storms of the 1930s along with the horrific events in Asia and Europe that led to World War II were indicative of the end times. As a Sunday School teacher of many years, she felt that she knew the Bible well enough to understand that she would see the end during her lifetime. In all, she predicted the return of Christ three times before she passed away near the end of the 20th century. Clearly, she missed seeing her prophecy fulfilled.

Similarly, in the early 1970s, events that included the alleged discovery of parts of Noah’s Ark caused one recently married young woman to worry that she wouldn’t be around long enough to have children!

An image of a baby in a bath.

Needless to say, she worried unnecessarily. Her children may have children of their own by now!

I’m not a pastor or a theologian. However, as an educator and encourager of adults, I can tell you that most people worry about events that don’t happen as they expected.

Remember how concerned everyone was about the way that computers would handle the change from 1999 to 2000? That concern was so widespread that it even gained its own name: Y2K. People stocked up on extra food, bought candles, kept some cash on hand, and some even bought portable generators. All that worry and preparation amounted to nothing when most computers easily made the change to the year 2000.

I could name other widespread concerns that have come to nothing. Most predictions of events by “experts” turn out to be false.

Current events should surely cause us to pray, but prayer is different from worry. Prayer is directed to God while worry has no direction.

Most of us have difficulty coping with the events that we know about, such as the impending deadline for filing our taxes. Concerning ourselves about something over which we have no control is uncalled-for.

An image of a shore.

First Peter 5:7 (NKJV) advises that you and I should be, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

(All photos courtesy of Stockvault)

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