My wife, Jean, and I have a home in a rural area of Hollidaysburg, PA called Scotch Valley. We are very fortunate to be able to see down the valley from where we live. Farmland, golf course, homes; we can see a long distance. And behind our home is a tall mountain which I am proud to say I hiked up several times. We are fortunate and blessed to be living here.
In this valley we occasionally experience some very strong winds. When we built our home, I made sure to mention to the contractor the issue of strong winds, so he had the roof contractor double-nail the shingles. Even a sectional flagpole of ours was damaged by the wind; so as a replacement we purchased a fiberglass hurricane strength flagpole. It is still standing firm.
We are also fortunate to have ample warning of storms. Storms build down the valley and as they move closer to our home, we can foresee how bad it will be depending on whether or not the nearby golf course disappears behind a wall of water.
However, these storms are not a concern for us because we have planned and prepared ourselves.
Here in the United States, when there is a hurricane moving towards Florida, residents are warned and told to prepare. And so if you knew a powerful storm was approaching, what would you do? Warn your loved ones and take shelter? But what if you warned your loved ones and, because it did not fit their narrative, they ignored you? They ignore you because the weather predictions call for sunshine with no chance of rain. And because they see the sun is shining they discount your warning. What is there not to like about a beautiful day?
And so in our society we love narratives; we love being told what to think. It is much more pleasant for us to believe a beautiful lie than it is to discover the harsh truth. Some of the most vile people in human history were able to lead others to destruction by promoting a narrative; control the narrative and people will ignore the truth.
So our society deteriorates at a regular pace with no signs of turning around. In our society, and across the world, people are becoming more dreadful. People are becoming more rude, inconsiderate, and above all, selfishness is growing worldwide.
But something else is occurring in our society that is interesting. Many of us are starting to sense something is wrong in our world at a deeper level, but we cannot pinpoint exactly what it is that is wrong. Something just doesn’t ‘feel’ right.
We assume that what we’re sensing is based on an emotional feeling of ours so we try to ignore it. However, we’re constantly reminded of it. So have you considered that what you’re sensing is not a feeling? Have you considered that what we’re experiencing is a knock on our soul trying to gain our attention, “Get ready, beware, take shelter, a great storm is coming.” God, through the Spirit, is warning all of us of a terrible storm on the horizon. At first we reject what we’re hearing because it is not pleasant to the ears. But God is patient, He is profound, and He is consistent. And so as we begin to open ourselves up to listening to Him, we will see the truth and know that it is from God.
“The night before Jesus Christ was crucified, He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Luke, a physician, recorded that Jesus’ sweat was like drops of blood: “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).”
I’m sorry to be so harsh, but Jesus, the son of God, pleaded with the Father to let the cup pass, but God did not allow the cup to pass and Jesus was left to experience the full force of sin; the physical pain of crucifixion was terrible to witness, but at the unseen spiritual level Jesus was experiencing something far worse than you know. Jesus drank from the cup.
So the same is for us; we are called to suffer. In Matthew 24 Jesus warns us of birth pangs that we must suffer through; and it’s not a comforting message for sure. But unlike Christ who did not have anyone to fellowship with, we have each other; and above all we have Christ to lean on.
So we are all called to follow God’s command to prepare ourselves and warn others, and by doing so we will be doing what God is asking of us; and this becomes the sign that we hear His voice and we accept His command upon our lives.
And just as He called His creatures to gather during the time of Noah, He is now calling His children to gather from all over the world as one voice for all to hear.
It is through listening to Him and gathering that we will feel the warmth of God’s Love. The radiating Love from God and from our brothers and sisters in Christ will allow us to weather this storm knowing that a new beginning is on the horizon.