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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jackie Minor

In Times Like These

What a difference one week makes. In my community students and teachers had a bounce in their step last weekend. It was the beginning of spring break, a time to relax. Now it looks like many will get a little extra time at home while under a cloud of uncertainty. Spring break has been extended an extra week.

No one can blame city and district leaders for taking additional precautions to thwart the spread of the coronavirus. The motive is simply to keep everyone safe. However, there is a ripple effect when decisions like this are made. When schools close, children may go hungry. When major events cancel, workers receive no paychecks. When people stay home, local businesses suffer. If we are not mindful, anxiety can set in, and—like the virus—it can spread.

Against my better judgement, I went to the grocery store today. It was chaotic. Shelves were empty, carts were full, workers were wearing gloves, and lines were long. People were civil, but there was a sense of worry in the air. You could cut the tension with a knife.

As I stood in line patiently waiting my turn to check out, a tune came into my mind. See if you recognize the lyrics.

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!

It has been YEARS since I have even thought about this song. Given our current situation, the phrase “in times like these” kept playing over and over in my mind. I couldn’t wait to get home, look up the rest of the lyrics, and find out the story behind the song.

In 1944 a housewife named Ruth Caye Jones was concerned about the state of the world. The country was in the middle of World War II. The Nazi army and Japanese military were waging war around the globe. Mrs. Jones was at home completing her daily household tasks. She was burdened and stressed by the turmoil and evil in the world. She was moved by reading the words of 2 Timothy 3:1: This know also that in the last days perilous times will come. As she read those words, inspiration for the song came, and she jotted lyrics on a small notepad she had in her apron pocket. Since that day the hymn has been a blessing to countless Christians at special times of need.

A lot has happened since 1944, and I suspect we will experience even more perilous times until Jesus returns. The words of this old hymn continue to ring true today. Check out the second verse and chorus.

In times like these you need the Bible.

In times like these, O be not idle.

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!

What could be more accurate? In times like these, we need a Savior. Jesus is our rock. Our hope is in Him and Him alone. He is unshakeable. In times like these, we need the Bible. God’s Word can serve as our anchor. Anchors are intended to restrict motion, to ensure a firm hold onto something. As we actively root ourselves in God’s Word, we stay attached to the solid rock!

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my Savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. Psalm 18:2

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Aren't these words comforting to you? There are many more verses like these in the Bible. Meditate on them and hold these close to your heart. They are your anchor.

The events surrounding the coronavirus are a reminder to all of us that we are not in control. As believers we are faced with a decision. Do we believe in the sovereignty of God or not? We were never promised an easy road. However, just like the disciples, we are promised peace through the solid rock, Jesus.

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33

In the upcoming weeks Christian educators will face many opportunities to demonstrate a calm assurance. We can be very sure that God will stay true to His promises. I love this verse from Hebrews. The author was warning the Christians against discouragement.

God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So, God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. Hebrews 6:16-19

These are unnerving times. Many of us have never faced a situation quite like this before. I think it is particularly challenging for educators. Educators are servant-minded. Many have strong empathy and compassion when it comes to the children they teach. While everyone is preoccupied with protecting themselves and their families (as they should be), teachers are also worried about their students, hoping they are well-taken care of and protected while at home for this extended time. It’s a lot to take in.

Yet, none of us are facing an uncertain future. Our faith can remain strong in the midst of confusion and unpredictability. Let’s spend extra time in prayer. Throughout Scripture, the believers prayed and God answered. We can be bold and confident in our prayers!

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. I John 5:14-15

Let’s also spend extra time in God’s Word; it is the anchor for our souls.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

God has given us an opportunity to point others to Him. Our hope, our peace, and our confidence is in the Solid Rock, Jesus!

Join me in singing (or reciting) the last verse of this beautiful hymn, The Solid Rock.

In times like these I have a Savior.

In times like these I have an anchor.

I'm very sure; I'm very sure

My 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!

Just in case you haven't heard this hymn, you can listen to it here:


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