When you are_____, He is there!

When you are  disappointed and weary, grieving, sad, discouraged, guilty, He is there!

It has been a long time since I just sat down and wrote a free-flowing post of my thoughts.  I have another prayer request today.  My friend who lost her home and in-home business in Hurricane Irene, took her much beloved Airedale Terrier to a new groomer yesterday.  Four hours later when she came back, the dog was listless, and unwell.  She suffered a heat stroke, stayed in the doggie hospital last night, and her organs are shutting down.  Will you ask the Lord for a miracle for this little dog Maisie?  I know some people may be offended by that request, if they are, they might be a little “too holy”.  I never had pets, and don’t have that same innate affinity that many people do with animals, but I do know how much people can and do love their pets. My husband is that very way.  They are little personalities that are part of the family and part of their life.

It is never easy to understand why we sometimes have to endure not just sorrow, but sorrow upon sorrow.  Even in this time we are living in, when it is so prevalent.  It seems like there should be a limit, but we know it doesn’t work that way.

Yesterday near where I live, a one year old baby died in her own home from a drive-by shooting.  Dad was shot too, and as of yesterday, had not regained consciousness yet, so he doesn’t even know.

There have been a number of tragedies in the local news lately similar.  A family with five kids, lost all 5 in a fire, the five year old’s body was found trying to cover and protect the baby.  A black teen who went missing a year ago, and no big news story or documentary on her, and yet 12 years later we are still hearing about Natalie Holloway.

My comfort in times of struggle or suffering, has always been in submitting to the fact that He is the Parent and we won’t understand a number of things during this life.  I believe God is a just God.  He is not sitting idly by.  Every wrong will be addressed.  Not only the murders, child abuse, and the most horrible things, but the “white lies”, petty thefts, etc. These to us are not equal to the horrible crimes of mass terrorism, gang rape, and such, but God does not divide and qualify sins.  Sin, all sin, is a violation first and foremost, against God. It’s not just rebellion against societal expectation and law, but a rebellion against God Himself.

We are living in the handful of final days before this world goes through a transformation like never has occurred in human history.

I am so thankful to know that my sins are forgiven, covered by the shed blood of Christ. We see the sin of others so easily, and diminish and deny our own by nature.  Over the course of life, and hard knocks, and hurts and wounds, I have become less and less readily forgiving of people.  I spent a lot of years simply absorbing the pain, but one day it got too costly and I started to harden my heart against being hurt. Neither one of those methods are the right way to handle it.  Thank the Lord Christ didn’t do me that same way. I am trying to learn how to extend grace when things like that happen, knowing God is keeping score.  Because Christ loves the ones who hurt us.  It is not easy, because it is not in our nature.  But it is the better way.  And He died for the sin that someone else did against me, so I don’t have that right, to condemn and hold it against the other.  Even though there are some who have not and will not accept what Christ did for them on the cross, He still did it for their sake, they just won’t benefit from it ultimately because they choose not to.  Vengeance belongs to the Lord, so why isn’t it enough for us, to let Him deal with it?  Probably because the pain is very personal.  But it is to Him, too.  Even those who don’t know Him, God knows them. He is aware and doesn’t lose track of one single part of what He created.

God never said the Christian life would be easy.  Nothing worth having ever did come easy. Sometimes it is just someone else who pays the price.

For all the hurting, guilt-ridden, miserable people in this world, God wants to forgive you.  He will if you ask.

For all of the hurting victims of someone else’s sin in this world, God wants to heal you.  He will if you seek Him out and ask Him to.

For those who are bitter, God can rid you of that.

For those who are in fear for the things they see coming upon this world right now, God can give you hope and comfort.

God is perfectly Holy and Just, so He can’t let any sin get “swept under the rug” and turn a blind eye.  Every sin will be addressed.  There are two ways that can turn out.  If you admit that you are a guilty sinner, and believe that Jesus died and rose again, shedding His lifeblood to buy your pardon, ask God to apply that solution to your record, God will do so, having satisfied the law with appropriate penalty (death) but substituting Christ in that death for the sake of redeeming those who are lost from Him because of sin. Death doesn’t hold power over Christ as it does with us who are fully human.  The person who accepts this, believing God that His offer is legitimate, and asks for this salvation, God will give it readily and immediately and irrevocably.  For those whose consciences have been seared by their own denial of guilt, who rationalize away all of their sin and evil doings, the outcome for you is hell.  Not a popular notion these days, but that doesn’t make it any less real and actual and true.  Someone has got to speak the truth, and God makes sure that happens, even in a world so self-deluded as ours is now.

God is right there. Call out to Him, because you are drowning in your sin.  Evil seems to win, so often, seems to go unaddressed.  But that is not the reality of it. God is keeping up with what has been done to you.  But He is also keeping track of what is done by you. God just has a lot of patience.  He knows what is going to happen when He finally gives vent to the stored-up wrath against sin and all those who reject His son’s costly gift of blood for their sake.  On that day, there will be no one looking at the person next to them, and comparing their “minor sin” to the other person’s “major sin”.  You will be very concerned then about your own sin, no matter whether you think it is “big” or not.  There will be no space in your mind to even think or point to someone who is a “worse sinner” than you are.

I don’t know how to be any more sincere than I am right now, when I say to you that a deadline is coming.  A lot of professing Christians scoff at this.  I think there is no person more lost than someone who is lost “in the church”.  They think that they are fine.  They think that they were good people whom God “saved” only to make them even better people. Jesus did not die to make bad people good, nor good people better.  He didn’t die to make rich people surrender their money to poor people or even to compel the more fortunate to care about the less fortunate, (and anyone’s comfort is not a high concern for God either).  God is not concerned with worldly wealth at all, because worldly wealth is worthless.  It is literally worth nothing.  It might buy you things, favors, all sorts of things, but they are all worldly Earthly things.  Monopoly money is only good in the game of Monopoly. This world is a game of monopoly.  How much something is worth, is arbitrarily determined in this life.  But all of our Monopoly money is going to burn.  The houses, the railroads, the hotels, and even the jails, are going to be reduced to dust. What good is it to buy the whole world, but lose your soul? Life is short, as they say, but eternity is very, very long.  Infinity.  Immortality is what man wants, not realizing he already has it.  To live forever, in a state of decay, that never ends, to burn forever, with fire that neither goes out, nor lets up, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  The word “worm” here refers to maggots.  Ever dying , but never dead!

I have encountered home-bound elderly patients who live alone, who have fallen and been wounded, and unable to get help, they remain where they fall, and their wounds fester.  Flies lay eggs and their larvae hatch out, in the wound.  These patients come to the hospital with literal maggots crawling in their wounds.  Imagine your entire body that way.   Similarly, burn injuries are among the absolute worst and most painful injuries the human body is capable of experiencing.  If you have ever smelled the odor of burnt human flesh, I guarantee you that you will never forget it.

That’s hell. Don’t go there. You don’t have to.  Call on the Lord and be saved while there is still time.  The Bible tells us that when the nations around Israel are gathered around  Israel together in threat to her existence, and no one intervenes to stop the onslaught, this is a sign of the end of the age.  Ethnicity rising against ethnicity. (Most people use the word race), and pestilence and famine, and war, and lack of love, lack of self-restraint, rampant evil, major earthquakes and the seas roaring (destructive storms, but also a reference to restlessness and agitation of people in general),  all become the norm and commonplace, that is when we know the end is here.  Yes, all these things have happened before, but never all at the same time, and to this level of intensity.  Mockers say, “where is Jesus, people always have thought He was coming soon, and yet it’s still the same now 2000+ years since He ascended to Heaven”.  That is the most blatant sign of all. It’s not the world saying this.  It is the church.  The church that has left Jesus on the outside knocking, but not allowed in.  The church that is rich, and increased of goods, and in need of nothing.

People often do very stupid, foolish, and dangerous things, so strong is the delusion that bad things can’t happen to me, only other people.  The E.R.s and Surgical practices, the Lawyers, courts, and jails, would all be out of business if not for that fact. Someone else gets caught, not me.  Someone else is the one who takes a stray bullet meant for a gang-member.  Someone else gets cancer. We tell ourselves these things, even if only subconsciously.  But we all know that eventually foolish behavior catches up to people.  It never ends well.  How foolish is it to know you are a sinner, know their even MIGHT be a hell, know that God has every right and power to send you there, and still reject His offer to save you?  For what? The fear of having to give up some vice you love? For pride? For never having to admit you are guilty? Some day you will bow your knee to Him, and you will acknowledge His authority.  But doing so after it is too late to submit to Him, will be the one foolish thing you will regret for eternity.  You won’t be able to brush it off.  You will be reminded by the maggots chewing at you, and the fire burning you.

I don’t care what people think of me for writing this.  What I do care about is that He warned you and you didn’t listen.  Someone told you and you missed your chance. If you are still breathing, you have an opportunity to avoid having that be the case. But even if the world goes on exactly as is for another hundred years, you will still die. You will still face the truth.

God is there.  Where you are. He wanted you to know. So when you find yourself kneeling against your will, remember this moment. Your blood is not on my hands. You can’t look around and find anyone else to lay this on.  It’s on you, my friend. And you will have no defense, no excuse, and worst of all, no second chance.

If someone wrongs me, I still get to spend eternity with the Lord.  If I suffer with cancer for years, lose my home, lose everyone I love, I still know that a time will come that my suffering will end, and He will wipe away the last tear that will ever fall from my eyes. God keeps meticulous records. He knows all about you, and yet, He is extending mercy even now.  But it could be your last chance to receive it.