‘Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee
All things are passing;
God never changeth.’ St Teresa of Avila
I always find St Teresa’s words comforting, largely because I get ‘disturbed’ quite easily – I’m a bit of a worrier. And there’s a lot going on in the world at the moment which could disturb us, if we let it.
After a year of Ebola in DR Congo, 2,300 people have been infected and, if anything, the spread of the virus is accelerating. In the UK, we are facing the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, carrying the threat of food and medicine shortages. New research is revealing just how extreme the climate emergency is. And for us and our project partners, the issues affecting the children we serve are huge; at times, those issues seem completely intractable.
Yet, there is still hope. Our God is the same, ‘yesterday, today and forever’ (Hebrews 13:8). He is strong, he loves us and he is utterly faithful. So we should not be disturbed, whatever is going on around us.
Of course, that’s not to say that we should just ignore the problems in the world. Far from it. We have the power to act: to bring change on big issues, to influence decision-makers when we can’t bring that change directly, to play a part in God’s plan to make Earth more like heaven. When the challenge is just too great, we can pray to the one who endures forever, who can literally move mountains. There are some alarming things going on in the world but then, that’s always been true. It’s up to us to choose whether or not those things disturb us!