A truck carrying "extremely dangerous" radioactive material was stolen yesterday in Mexico. Meanwhile, the pope called believers to pray for 12 nuns in Syria taken from their convent. But there's even more to fear out there, as the following news items show.
A man born to wealthy parents in Japan was accidentally switched by a worker in the hospital nursery and has spent decades living in poverty. He proves that a rich family is no guarantee of financial security. Celebrity is no guarantee of safety, as Paul Walker's tragic death last Saturday proves. A Harvard degree may not guarantee status, as the school is being accused of "grade inflation" after its dean admitted that the most frequently awarded grade in its undergraduate college is an "A."
More than two million passwords for Facebook, Google, Yahoo and other web services have been stolen and posted online. And jihadist groups are spreading across the Middle East, with attacks on the rise in Syria, Lebanon, the Sinai Peninsula, Yemen, Libya, and Nigeria. A former State Department senior adviser says, "It seems we are back to counterterrorism as a guiding focus for American policy."
So, what are your options today? You could stay home, but more accidents happen at home than anywhere else. You could unplug from the Internet, but German scientists have found a way to transmit viruses only using computers' speakers and microphones.
Or you could face the day with courage. What about today most worries you? Name your fear and consider four Christmas facts.
One: the Child who entered our fallen world at Christmas promises, "I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). God + 1 = Majority.
Two: the Christmas angels remind us that God still sends angels "to serve those who will inherit salvation" (Hebrews 1:14). Billy Graham says, "Believers, look up—take courage. The angels are nearer than you think."
Three: God's Son invaded this rebel world at Christmas, and ordered us not to fear the gates of hell but to attack them (Matthew 16:18). Our "spiritual armor" has no protection for the back (Ephesians 6:13-17). We are safest when we are serving the King of Kings.
Four: Christmas shows that God redeems all he allows, as lowly shepherds became the first evangelists and a feed trough became a King's throne. God still redeems hard times to grow and use his people: kites rise against, not with the wind. However, "following the path of least resistance is what makes rivers and men crooked" (Napoleon Hill).
It's been noted that "the brave may not live forever, but the cautious don't live at all." Which will you be today?
Publication date: December 5, 2013