Finding Peace
Image by Kiều Trường from Pixabay

We live in anxious times. Perhaps it began with the 2007 financial crash when we suddenly realised that it is possible to lose everything we have in an instant.

Or perhaps our anxiety began to rise due to COVID-19 and the growing realisation that we are not as strong, independent, and in control as we thought we were.

When something as small as a virus can wreak such havoc, we are forced to rethink our priorities and appreciate the moments that we have together.

And then came war. Of course, war has been raging in many parts of the world for years. But the war in Ukraine seems to be uncomfortably close to home.

Every day in the news we see war, pain, suffering, sadness. Many of the ways in which we had learned to understand and cope with stress and insecurity have let us down.

It’s easy to feel hopeless and permanently anxious. And yet, in the midst of all of this, Jesus reassures us that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

God is love, and God’s love endures forever. Recognising the presence of such love will not protect us from the horrors of the world, nor will it stop us being anxious.

But it does offer us hope and new possibilities even in the midst of our struggles. We are not called to be winners in the battles of this world. God will win.

We are called to be faithful to the things that God has given us to do: to struggle for justice, to struggle with the powers of this world, to struggle for love, to struggle with our own insecurities, to struggle with Jesus in the messiness of this world. There may be much darkness now, but daylight is coming.

Rev. Dr. John Swinton is founder of the university's Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability.