A previously unknown group calling itself the Chinese Martyrs’ Brigade has claimed responsibility for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane. They sent an email to various journalists in China, saying: “You kill one of our clan, we will kill 100 of you as payback.” However, a Malaysian official states, “There are no sound or credible grounds to justify their claims.”
Searchers have found no concrete evidence of what happened to the flight. As you know, flight MH370 vanished early Saturday morning after departing Kuala Lumpur for Beijing. The plane disappeared from radar less than an hour after takeoff. No distress signals were sent. No debris has been discovered.
Investigators have learned that five passengers who checked in didn’t board the aircraft. However, their checked bags were removed before the plane departed. We now know that two passengers used stolen passports to board the plane. However, authorities have no idea whether this fact relates to the plane’s disappearance. Nearly a third of all flights are taken without passengers’ details being checked against a stolen-passport database.
The plane disappeared while at cruising altitude, which is typically considered the safest phase of a flight. At this writing, authorities have no idea what happened.
In other international news, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un has reportedly ordered the execution of 33 people because they made contact with a Christian missionary there. South Korean missionary Kim Jung-wook has established 500 underground churches in North Korea. He was arrested and jailed last year after entering the North from China with Bibles, Christian instructional materials and movies. Now the 33 people with whom he interacted have been accused of attempting to overthrow the regime, and will be put to death.
Clearly it is not safe to profess Christ in North Korea. But it is not safe to board an airplane, either. In fact, there is no place where we are completely safe today. Every year, 4,000 people die from accidents at home, while nearly three million home accidents require hospital treatment. Nearly 4,000 more fatal car accidents happen on rural roads than on busy urban streets.
So we can worry about our next flight or car trip, or we can take appropriate precautions and choose to live in the moment we have. Billy Graham: “Physicians tell us that 70 percent of all illnesses are imaginary, the cause being mental distress or worry. In reading hundreds of letters from people with spiritual problems, I am convinced that high on the list is the plague of worry. It has been listed by heart specialists as the number one cause of heart trouble.
“Psychiatrists tell us that worry breeds nervous breakdowns and mental disorders. Worry is more adept than Father Time in etching deep lines into the face. It is disastrous to health, robs life of its zest, crowds out constructive, creative thinking, and cripples the soul.”
What about tomorrow worries you today? Name your fear. Then obey God’s word: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). What will happen? “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (v. 7).
It’s been said that anything too small to make into a prayer is too small to make into a worry. How is that fact relevant to you today?