It made me feel giddy, It was like the waves of a storm, a worldwide storm. Outside my window the weather looked nice and calm. Inside my mind, though, I was starting to feel agitated, wondering what this was doing to my retirement funds. It occurred to me that this mental agitation was but the tiniest part of a much larger picture. Waves of mental anguish were at this moment sweeping through the emotions of millions upon millions of people world-wide. This was nothing less that a psychological tsunami.
It seemed to me, though, that there was nothing I could do about it. There was no point in selling any of my stock or withdrawing any funds at this point. I have no idea whether prices will continue to sink, or begin to rise. And really, nobody else knows what is going to happen. The direction of the market is the result of millions of individual decisions. No one person can control it. Even governments, though they can have an influence, cannot dictate the outcome.
Only our Lord, who is God of both heaven and earth, really rules over such things. And He will at times permit things to happen in the short term because His real concern is the long term, and, indeed, our eternal welfare. Sometimes it is useful for people, who make worldly things to be an end in themselves, to get shaken up so that perhaps, just perhaps, they will reexamine their priorities.
It is a comforting thought--it brings comfort from deep within--to remember that He is in charge. It brings perspective to such worldly ups and downs, such financial storms. Money is not everything. We cannot even take it with us. There are deeper and far more important concerns. Do we have trust in Him? Do we love our fellow human beings? Are we acquiring spiritual wealth, eternal wealth, from His Word?
The stock market storm is only a worldly storm. And even this worldly storm is in our Lord's hands. He is in control. To know this, to believe this, will help calm even the most violent surges of panic.
Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matt. 8:23-27).