The signs of chaos and unrest in our world have never been more evident than they are today. We strive to keep each day and each new circumstance separate from the prior day's events because two days, superimposed on one another, can become overwhelming. If we were to count the number of catastrophes, natural disasters, and political and economic events of dire significance that have occurred in the last six weeks, they would exceed the number of similar occurrences in 2013. The pace of unrest has been growing exponentially.
For example, on March 28, 2016, a bomb killed at least 65 people and wounded hundreds who had gathered to celebrate Easter in a Pakistani city. On March 15 in Cairo, a Saudi-Arabian led military coalition killed 97 in air strikes, including 25 children. On April 12, a U.S. Naval officer was accused of espionage for providing secret information to China and Taiwan. In the six months prior to April 12, 101 people in a remote Canadian Aboriginal community of 2,000 have attempted suicide. An April 22 report indicated that the overall "suicide" rate in the United States increased by 24% from 1999 to 2014. During the same time period, the "suicide" rate among girls aged 10 to 14 years tripled, and it increased by 80% among white middle-aged women.
On April 17 an earthquake in Ecuador killed more than 400 people and injured thousands. On April 16, two earthquakes struck Japan in one day, causing more than 42 deaths and leaving more than 100,000 without homes. On April 8, Islamic State fighters abducted 170 people from a cement factory near Damascus. On April 15, gunmen indiscriminately killed more than 140 civilians in Ethiopia, near the Western border with South Sudan, including women and children. On April 10, explosions during a fireworks display in New Delhi killed more than 100 people and injured more than 400. On March 22, a bombing in an airport in Brussels killed more than 35 and injured over 340 people. Charges of government corruption have tainted several governments, including government officials in Chile, Iceland, South Africa and Ukraine.
As of April 13, American air strikes had reportedly killed 25,000 "Islamic State fighters" in Iraq and Syria. The number killed in the first two months of this year is five times the number killed in the first two months of 2015. On March 17, Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve chair, announced that the federal funds rate would remain at 0.4%, despite having had only one increase in the past nine years. The decision is designed in part to keep the dollar in a weakened condition, but if circumstances demand a higher stabilizing rate, it may be difficult or impossible to quickly achieve the desired higher rate. On April 20, Xi Jinping, China's leader, in a desire for greater military control of China's military forces, was named commander in chief of the joint battle command, a role that in the past was left to trained military personnel. His goal is to strengthen coordination between the various Chinese forces. These are a few of the news events of the past six weeks, as reported by the New York Times. The Wall Street Journal and other newspapers reported additional events that easily rival in significance the ones reported by the New York Times.
It's a sad state of affairs when our principal response to disaster of any kind is to readjust our "shock meter" so that the most catastrophic events are no longer as catastrophic as they would have seemed to be two years ago. The news cycle is moving at such a rapid pace that events that may have been analyzed and discussed for weeks now receive a brief mention, because we must quickly move on to the next newsworthy event. We are being forced into a collective state of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and very little sinks into our consciousness sufficiently to generate an intelligent and productive response.
When our world is spiraling out of control and we barely have the time to stop and take notice, the least we can do is call on the Lord God of heaven and earth and request his divine protection. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain to at least begin to acknowledge him. He is our last resort, our last hope. Without him, we have no mental or physical capability of successfully defending our world against our collective enemy. Stop whatever you are doing for a brief moment and say a prayer. If you don't know what to say, then ask with conviction, "Are you alive and present, Lord God of heaven and earth?" Then listen carefully for his response. He speaks through your heart.
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