On the terror-stricken day of the assault on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill by a radical young Islamist, people around the world watched in horror at the chilling images broadcast from the capital of our peace-loving country.
“In times like these, we need a Saviour. In times like these, we need an anchor.” As a child, the velvet voice of one of gospel music’s greats, George Beverly Shea, singing that song, rang out often through my family’s old console record player. The tune caught and the words stuck.
Today’s threat of terrorism isn’t the only thing that indicates our world’s downward spiral. Consider these well-documented statistics, mostly from the US.
In the ninety seconds it may take to read this column, at least six women cringe before an abuser – one every fifteen seconds. We can multiply that several times, if we consider other world areas.
In that same time, two or three babies will be aborted, mostly for the sake of convenience. In America that happens once every twenty-six seconds.
Every 90 seconds, somewhere in America, maybe on your street, someone is sexually assaulted.
Here’s another alarming statistic: Every five minutes, less than the time it takes most people to read this column twice, a fellow believer, often a child, is killed somewhere in the world – simply because he or she espouses the Christian faith. International Christian Concern (persecution.org) and similar world-watchers report that more Christians have been martyred in recent decades than in our entire history.
In times like these, we need an anchor indeed. A foundation of faith built firmly on Jesus Christ.
On the day of the Parliament Hill attacks, the constant news coverage distracted me so much that I burned our dinner rather badly. My thoughts and prayers were not only with all those affected, but with my boss, a Member of Parliament. He spent the day in lockdown mere feet from where the shooter was eventually taken down.
The next morning, I remembered. For this we have Jesus. An anchor, a Saviour who keeps the soul at all times, especially in times like these.
November is the remembering month. We remember our fallen soldiers who have given their lives for the values of truth and freedom, many of them young men like Nathan Cirillo, murdered that day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Christians also remember, as encouraged by organizations like Open Doors International, to pray for fellow believers around the world – and all too close to home – whose faith makes them targets for oppression.
What is most needful for a quiet heart today? To be sure, very sure, that we are solidly anchored in Christ. To remember that we never face difficult times alone – our Saviour goes with us. And most of all, to keep hope. God still has a plan for this troubled little sphere called earth tumbling helter-skelter through space. And that nothing can change that.
Even in times like these.