I just got back from Florida yesterday. I was there for ten percent business and ninety percent pleasure, and I must say that I’m quite proud of myself for actually getting in the ocean and not simply jet skiing atop it (though I definitely prefer the latter and will forever refuse to scuba dive…that is, until I get to Heaven, where I’m sure the sharks are toothless, ha). Granted, this is not a boast-worthy accomplishment for most, but considering the fact that since I first saw Jaws as a wee tyke I’ve had a severe, if not ridiculous, (for a while I was paranoid that sharks could invade our pool via the drain) fear of any non-chlorinated body of water, I’d say I deserve a “like” if this were my facebook status ;-).
It’s good to be back in Texas; there’s no place like home, after all. Speaking like Dorothy, for those of you affected in any way by the vicious tornadoes last week, I want you to know I’m praying that the Lord will send you care and comfort and peace that surpasses understanding. It seems like the whole world is in travail, and not just meteorologically, but geopolitically, economically, and spiritually, too. It’s just like Jesus prophesied about the last days in Matthew 24:
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. –Matthew 24:4-8
I know people say things like, “There’s always been bad weather. There have always been disasters and terrorists and wars; economic downturns and recessions are characteristic of any free market society.” My reply: Yes, there have always been those things – we live in a sin-cursed fallen world, and fallible, flawed human beings make unwise decisions. But just as “birth pains” continue to increase and intensify until a mother gives birth to her child, so too is our planet and its inhabitants growing more and more restless and volatile in anticipation of our deliverance unto redemption – or purgation, as it will prove to be for many.
I know talking about this can seem scarier than Great White sharks, but I just want to reiterate what Jesus told His disciples when they felt afraid and hopeless, and that is that we shouldn’t fear…
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” –John 14:1-4
Yes, we live in a frightening world, and if we allow ourselves, we can easily, simply by flipping on the news for fifteen seconds, become paralyzed with fear and anxiety about what the future holds. But it’s also an exciting time, as I strongly believe, based on Scripture, that we are living in last days and could meet the Lord in the air at any minute (1st Thess. 4:17). Heck, they were calling it the “last days” 2,000 years ago, so I guess it’s fair to say we’re at the tail end of the last days now, right? 😉 (Hebrews 1:2).
I have no idea where I was intending to go with this blog; it seems my condolences to those in my neighboring towns and counties, and also in Mississippi and Alabama (and if I’m forgetting a state, please forgive me!) morphed into a much broader exhortation of sorts…
These times are exciting for us as a body of believers for a number of reasons that I could get into, chiefly that we have been given an incredible and unprecedented opportunity through media and technology to reach the lost in Jesus’ name and proclaim salvation in ways our ancestors, even just fifty years ago, could not have fathomed. But on a personal level, I believe we can find tremendous encouragement and confidence from a verse in Acts:
From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.- Acts 17:26
It’s no accident that you and I are living here and now. And wherever “here” is for you is precisely where the Lord has chosen to place you, teach you, and prepare you for a specific, Christ-exalting, you-fulfilling purpose. We just have to be obedient and say, wholeheartedly like Isaiah did, “Here I am Lord; send me” (Is. 6:8).
Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di