AS we listen to and watch the news headlines during the last few weeks, I am reminded of the fragility of life.

We have the plight of the refugees and migrants, risking life and limb to leave their own country for a better one, many of whom never reach a safe shoreline. How it breaks my heart to learn of all the babies and young children who have been drowned, let alone their respective families.

We think of all the senseless violence even in our own country. Practically not a day goes by without there being a stabbing, a shooting, vicious attacks on various groups of people for whatever reason – and so the list goes on – and that is just in the UK!

As I write this, there is the terror of the latest ZIKA virus which the World Health Organisation has declared to be an international public health emergency caused by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Something so small causing so great a terror!

All of this makes us, as Christians, realise we’re drawing closer to the season of our Lord’s return. One of our great comforts is what the Bible says about the Lord shielding his people in times like these: we are hidden under the shadow of his wings and in the shadow of his hand; God is our hiding place.

When you read frightening headlines, just remember if you belong to Jesus, he will keep you from the coming Day of Judgment. He will preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever. He will preserve your soul.

As Fanny Crosby penned: "He hideth my life in the depths of his love, and covers me there with his hand", and that’s my prayer for you.

The Rev Diane Hunter

Retired minister of Zion Congregational Church, Settle.