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Drowning in a sea of bad news

Andrew C. Schroer

The news can be overwhelming. It doesn’t matter whether you watch CNN, Fox, or MSNBC. I don’t see a difference whether you catch the local news on TV, glean it off the Internet, or read the newspaper. The sheer volume of news can be overwhelming, especially when it’s bad news.

Terrorists. Crime. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Politics. Protests.

It seems that the more time we spend watching the news, the more it feels like the world is falling apart around us. The more we watch the news, the more helpless we feel.

We have no control over most of the events we read about and see on the news. I have little influence over what the president does. I can’t stop hurricanes or earthquakes. I can’t stop the shootings, and I couldn’t even stop our local Walmart from closing. The more informed I become, the more painfully obvious it becomes that I can do little about the chaotic events happening in the world around me.

Thankfully, God can.

Just look at the history behind the Bible. Great empires—the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans—rose and fell as God’s hand worked all of history to bring his Son Jesus into the world. Floods, earthquakes, and famines raged as God’s loving plans and purposes came about through them.

Sometimes we are like Peter when he was walking on the water toward Jesus in the middle of the storm (Matthew 14:22-36). He was doing fine until he started staring at the storm raging around him. He saw the whitecaps and waves. He looked down at his feet and thought, I can’t do this.

And he was right.

On his own, Peter couldn’t walk on water. He couldn’t stand in the middle of the storm. He began to sink. Thankfully, Jesus lovingly and powerfully reached down his hand and pulled Peter up.

When we focus all our attention on the bad news cycling across the screen, we can easily become overwhelmed. We are forced to face our own impotence. We begin to feel like we are drowning in a sea of chaos, violence, and tragedy.

There comes a point when we need to turn it off.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying you should completely stop watching the news.

A Christian should be well-informed of what is happening in our world. We need to know what is going on so we can do our best to influence, help, and heal the ills of our world.

But there comes a point when we need to turn the news off. If you find yourself obsessing and stressing about the state of affairs in our country or the world, if you are constantly worried about our president or the border or the Middle East or any of the countless other news stories flashing across the screen, it’s probably time to take a break.

Take your eyes off the storm for a while and take a long look at your Savior God.

Open up your Bible and read the good news of his promises. He is in control. He is working all of time and history for our good. Even if this world goes to hell in a handbasket, you are going to heaven in the care of his angels because Jesus lived and died as your Savior.

When you feel like you are drowning in a sea of bad news, the good news of God’s promises will keep you afloat.

Author: Andrew C. Schroer
Volume 106, Number 1
Issue: January 2019

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This entry is part 35 of 36 in the series editorial-comment

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