What will it take?

After America, there is North America,” – Gen. David Petraeus

WND asks: What Comes After America?   (MexAmeriCanida?)

We are all Americans“- Nancy Pelosi

Marc Faber: The asset bubble has begun to burst

Imminent Court Ruling Could Cripple Obamacare

These are a few of the headlines today.  It sounds pretty dire.  In the line of what I do, bringing you the news as it relates to Bible Prophecy, from the vantage point of my (by God’s Grace) happening to be an American, my concern and love for my country is ever-present.  I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus, first and foremost, and I love my family.  I know that nations rise and they fall, but I still believe in the power of repentance and prayer to sway God.  I know that both our nation and our world are at a place we’ve never been before.  But that’s always true.  The question for Christians in America is this: will the rest of our history continue in this same downward trajectory with persecution of Christians being part of the package?  Or will God see fit to continue to extend the grace he has given us thus far?  I think that is the question of the day.  And I think it depends on whether we are salt and light or not.  What does it mean to be salt and light?

Salt preserves things.  How?  By inhibiting the life and growth of bacteria.  The salt pulls the water to itself, and the bacterial cell cannot survive without water.  Good overcomes evil.  Not our own goodness, but the goodness of Christ in us.  Jesus is the light of the world.  Just as life on Earth would cease if it was overcome by total darkness without the light of the sun, so would the world be overcome by spiritual darkness, leaving man at the mercy of his own sin nature, and the devices of the prince of darkness, Satan, and mankind would utterly destroy itself in eternal damnation.

The ending of the story is written, but we know there are a few “acts” left in the drama of human history, as believers in God’s Word.  Meanwhile, there is a limited amount of “wiggle room” in regards to the immediate future.

If you have followed this blog a while, you know that I am just an average American Christian striving to make sense of it all right along with you.  Lately I have offered my own opinion and input less and less, choosing to simply bring the news and keep the information flowing.

I think that America is definitely at it’s own “tipping point” and every Christian who is paying attention, has wrestled with the question of  just exactly how we should be praying at this point.  “Thy will be done” is always fitting.  But I believe God invites us to “come boldly before the throne of Grace”.  I think that the time for asking God to “bless America” is past. I think the appropriate plea for today is “God please have mercy” on America.  The Bible tells us that God remembers mercy even in wrath. We often grieve for the lack of justice and grow impatient for God to bring about that perfect Justice of HIs, until we remember that He was merciful so we could escape that wrath, and therefore we must be willing to wait upon His timing and to occupy (as salt and light, preserving and shining HIs light, standing against evil and witnessing the gospel) until He comes.  Will that be enough to keep the Lord from letting this nation be utterly destroyed?  Well, one thing is for sure, we won’t find out if we just give up on praying and doing what we know is right.  We may lose a lot, (as one does in a devastating house fire) but you can never go wrong in obedience to God, and sometimes when you lose a whole lot, you realize a lot of what you had wasn’t nearly as important as you once thought it was.

I was blessed by this story in the newsletter I receive from our VA Congressman Randy Forbes:

A personal story
By Congressman Randy Forbes
July 9, 2014

One of the most frequently asked questions I hear from people today is, “Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of America?” I normally answer that I choose to be optimistic, and here is the reason why.

Four and a half years ago, my father-in-law (called Spur by his family and friends) walked out of a Washington Nationals baseball game with my two grown sons, Justin and Jamie. As they walked away from the stadium, Spur felt a strong pain in his side. He perspired. He struggled to keep up.  They were just walking to get a cab, and Spur couldn’t comprehend why suddenly he felt so much discomfort just walking alongside his grandsons.

Two weeks later, Spur received the shocking news – he had stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The doctor gave him six months to live.

Then, the doctor said grimly: “We can give you treatments. But ­– they can be devastating. They will drastically alter your quality of life.”

Spur faced a decision. So he held a family meeting with the doctor, as families often do in the face of difficult medical choices. I remember sitting in the room with Spur and the doctor, encircled by family members. I remember Spur announcing he would not take the treatments. I remember him sharing that he simply wanted to enjoy his last six months as well as he could.

There was silence for a moment. And then, he went around the room looking each family member in the eye and asking for their opinions. His wife agreed with him. His daughter agreed. His sons agreed. Spur looked to the doctor and the doctor nodded his head: “Well, that’s what we’ll do then.”

They all stood up to leave, but Spur held back, looked over at me, and commented on how quiet I had been through the meeting. “What do you think, Randy?” he asked.

What would you say? I’m not a doctor. I’m not a wise old sage to give that kind of advice, the kind that could determine life or death. I did the only thing I could think to do. I looked at the doctor and simply asked what he would choose to do if this were his wife. The doctor paused for a moment and said, “I’d give her the treatments.”

So I looked at Spur and told him, “I’d take the treatments.”  Spur sat back down, looked at the doctor and said, “Give me the treatments.”

Spur’s decision was simple. But it was hard.

I share this story because less than a month ago, I walked out of a Washington Nationals game. Jamie was there. Justin was there. And Spur was there, walking beside me. He looked to me and said casually, “I have more energy now than I have had in 20 years. I feel better than I’ve felt in 20 years. They’ve reduced my medicine to the lowest amount possible.”

His words hit me.

Today, there are those who are willing to accept a dire diagnosis for America. They’ve made up their minds, and they’ve looked to their neighbors and friends and family, and they’ve all agreed. There are those who believe our nation is no different from other nations around the world. There are those who are willing to let our nation fall to an ill fate.

But what if we choose the treatments – the kind that might be uncomfortable or hard – and end up healthier than we’ve been before?

On the front end, those decisions are never easy. Finding the way to turn our country around will not be easy. It will be tough. But, we have a choice. We can go quietly into the night, accepting a dire diagnosis. Or we can roll up our sleeves and choose to fight.

Some may read this and say it’s just a story – that stories don’t give us the specific answers that we need to turn the country around. And that’s true. We won’t find bill language or groundbreaking policy ideas in life stories, or at least most of the time we won’t.

However, sometimes the stories in our lives give us the purpose and inspiration we need to move forward. They help make it a little more bearable to choose the hard things that might make our lives uncomfortable for awhile. They help guide us towards the future.

That’s why I choose to be optimistic. There is no other nation like America, and I believe that if, like Spur, we make the tough choices, we may just find that a few years from now America has more spring than ever in her step – and the world will wonder again how they ever doubted us.