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1987 vs. 8/8/88: Why not to panic with stock market crash

13 Mar, 2020

Personal reflections of Brian J. Grim, Ph.D.

Not everyone reading this was alive on Black Monday, 1987. For those who were and had investments in the stock market, it was a crash that for some wiped out up to half of their savings and investments. The Friday before Black Monday was the day my wife and I invested our total savings into the stock market. On Monday, what we had saved was lost.

Over and over again through the years we have been thankful for that day. That may seem odd. But for us, who have devoted our lives to serve God in a variety of ways, we came to experience that our security was not in bank accounts or portfolios, but in a far higher asset.

That asset is faith. Faith in an unseen God.

In those days, we were working in the westernmost part of China, and found over and over that challenges ranging from Hepatitis to navigating the communist system were possible with help from above.

It’s not that everything worked out, but everything had a place in the eternal flow of things.

For example, not long after Black Monday, on 8/8/88, the paramount leader of China, Deng Xiaoping, approved a proposal I had made to set up a faith-based graduate school in the Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region, China’s far west where up to a million Uygurs have been put into “vocational” re-education camps purportedly to protect against radicalization.

Unfortunately, the graduate school fell through due to reversing commitments from the American side. To this day I wonder how the future of Xinjiang would have been different had the American side stayed engaged.

The lesson, however, was that trusting in human institutions, including the stock market and even my own compatriots, was not as strong as the miraculous experience of 8/8/88.

In faith, I believe breakthroughs like 8/8/88 are around the corner. But we must act in faith, not fear.

Also read:

— Coronavirus will bankrupt more people than it kills — and that’s the real global emergency

— Coronavirus: Ten reasons why you ought not to panic  

SHRM: Coronavirus and COVID-19 Workplace Resources 

CDC: Get your home ready