Is god really in control?
By: Wendell Leahy
Published: March 16, 2005
On the way to my favorite coffee shop earlier this afternoon, I passed several churches. One was a real nice building with a beautiful lawn. It's a Christian Science church, or at least that is what the sign reads. I drive by this church all the time and is near my house. All I can say is; what a dead place that church, but what a beautiful lawn they have. (ironic sad chuckle).
Moving forward I came up to the area of The Country Club Plaza. Ritzy, high class, lots of shoppers out spending big bucks on things they have the luxury to afford. I just bought some shoes today myself, getting a 2 for 1 deal! They're not so pretty nor much in style but I only spent 28 bucks for a pair of tennis shoes and some sandals. While sitting in my car at the intersection, I noticed all the people walking around with so much money in their pockets, willing to just splash it out on things of no real value. My Nissan was the only 'old' car (265,000 miles) sitting there idling wasting gas. All around me were some very expensive cars, a Lexus, a Cadillac, several big SUVs. I saw a real nice Corvette, all shined up. Man was it nice.
While waiting for the light to change (only about 3 minutes) I noticed across the street in the park there was a protest going on for the war in Iraq. I'd say there were about 50 people or so, not so big. Just three days ago the gay rights crowd was also there, demonstrating for free rights, with all the horns honking in support, lots of noisy cheers and all that sort of thing. I did see a few people drive by that had the look of amazement and shock, but they were few and hardly noticeable.
The protestors had many signs that read: UN n US out - NO TO BUSH - Troops out NOW. I saw an American flag disgraced with a peace symbol over it and all that sort of thing. They were quiet and peaceful, standing there holding their signs. It was busy because today was a beautiful day, as we just got through two days of heavy rain. Probably the storm that just passed through Illinois earlier this week and killed some folks. I was thinking in my mind while waiting for the light to change and looking at the shoppers and all the nice cars, I was thinking, 'out of Iraq' .. OK.. that seems reasonable to me, after all, its mainly just kids over there dying. I thought, if we leave Iraq and come home it would not be long before they come here, whoever they are. It would be considered intolerant and offensive of me to name them, so I better not.
I thought, is God in control?. He forewarned us of these days did He not, still thinking about the war in Iraq and how small this world really is. I know, and so does everyone else, that there is really no way out anymore. I mean death and war will not be avoided with all the terrorism causing nation to go against nation, kingdom against kingdom. It is sure here is it not? My faith holds though and I know that God said these things would come.
Man cannot save himself. Our problems are out of control and we are the reason. Too many voices, so much violence, war, disease, climate problems, the works. Its here no doubt, just as God warned us, and we know because we keep saying that God is in control, as we look around and see it all coming our way, like the light at the end of our tunnel, like a freight train coming our way. The warm and fuzzy folks say, "snuggle up and say nothing, be nice and tolerant, don't rock the boat and don't be such a fear monger".
Is God really in control?
As for me, I cannot say what is right or wrong anymore, as politics, religion and globalization are on a head on collision. If we do not defend our freedoms, they will be lost, as others would really like to see us not wasting the worlds resources, as our way of life is an affront to most all, except us Americans. We water our lawns, plant flowers, making everything so neat and nicely manicured. Many just look the other way as if all is out of sight and out of mind. All things come from God, even my 600 sq ft shack (I call it thejedshed). I finally did some remodeling, turning into what I call "a glorified garage". Sometimes, when I watch the Discovery Channel or something similar, I often see houses much larger than mine, even way out in the middle of Africa! The world is not as big as it seems. When I was a kid it seemed so big and endless. I suppose that is true for all of us though.
The light finally turned green and I put on the gas. As I pass the protesters (I support their courage for what they think is right) I do not understand why they cannot perceive that their way of life is nearly finished as they do not think that terror and war will not find them in their own back yards, as all these problems come boiling to a head, ready to explode, forgetting about our own problems with all the crime. Today, a man was arrested for being a serial killer. This war I face every day as my home is locked in the attempt to keep them out. On my front door is a plaque quoting Joshua 24:15: "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord'. I know I'm the rich man on the hill, even though I do not have much, but I know I'm rich in all things.
Moving forward, driving alongside the park, I noticed people off in the background, a little further down from the protesters, and what looked to be the yoga people. They seemed so peaceful as they stretch, probably not saying much. I thought, I probably should get out there and do some stretching myself. I'm sure they were aware of the protesters but they seemed content in their part of the park doing their stretching and also probably meditating on God, just as I have been doing in my thoughts as I pass them on the drive to my place of destination, not so much different than theirs, just down the street from my favorite place, yet seemingly worlds apart, even in this boring, Midwestern city of Kansas City sitting out in the middle of the plains. I wonder, do they know that God is in control?
Finally I arrive at the coffee shop. Looks kind of deserted, not many people sitting outside. I walk up to go in but decided not to buy anything and instead, turned around to go back outside and just sit for awhile and watch the world go by. To the left of me were two lesbians and their gay friend. They were discussing politics. I knew they were gay because they don't hide it, and that's kewl because, it's the coffee shop you know, we're all tolerant of each other. Of course, they know me as the Bible thumper, so all is fair I suppose. I thought to myself, I sure have seen a lot of homosexuals out lately, doing their thing and enjoying themselves just as I'm doing. They probably have no idea I was just like them, for nearly 25 years.
I know God is in control because he delivered me from that destructive lifestyle. If I had said 'destructive lifestyle' without saying what I came from, I would probably been labeled a bigot, hateful, intolerant, ignorant, uneducated, narrow-minded and so on. I wonder if God is really in control, because of the persecution I have gone through for more than 5 years now, because I state the truths of God and declare myself, saved by Jesus. I most definitely see the need for us Christians to be in a church, for we will not find fellowship out here, in this world.
I thank my Lord for visiting me personally and delivering me from that hell, a realization that one such as myself could explain because my personal experience testifies to that. Now that I have, I'm sure to be labeled as something, although not sure what that might be. Whatever it is they will say, I will remember that they hated my Lord long before they hate me. "The world will hate you" God has declared. Funny, I just quoted that verse yesterday!
In my mind I wonder, am I'm the only one who has heard this message? My friends are still in that place of death. Did I go enough times to visit them, to help rescue them from their own hell that I know they exist in. They know it too as they have told me so and I have seen it. I was one of them once. But... they too laughed and mocked me. I still like them, although I'm not so sure that they really like me all that much anymore.
After hanging out for about ten minutes or so I decided to leave the coffee shop. So, I got up, crossed the street and got in my car -- doing a u-turn in the middle of the street. I noticed another car had moved quite fast and had to slow so not to hit me. It was safe as we each had time to react. I thought, I wonder if that guy thinks I'm a reckless driver? He was doing 35-mph in an area that should be 10-mph, and I just did a u-turn! Funny how things bring home truth, as we both were wrong, him a little more so. Nothing came of it though as I looked in the rear view mirror and watched his car slowly fade away.
I'm back to the protesters again, waiting for the light to change. I did look at some of them face to face this time, as they are on my left and standing at the corner. They look just about like anyone else you would know. Who can tell what is in their hearts and if they even know what time it really is. All I know is they were sincere and have the right to do something, which seems nobody can do anything about, bringing peaceful change as we near the point of no return, stepping into the latter day and the coming of Revelation. While looking at each other I was thinking, do they really think I am going to blow my horn so I could be heard? Naa... I thought, why bother. Usually it just creates a traffic mess. While sitting waiting for the light to change, I thought about writing this message.
The light changed and on I go heading home through the maze of lights, when all of a sudden there comes an ambulance. I could hear it easily as it was near and moving fast. This was near St Luke's hospital (great name) and just across the street from the park I just passed. Suddenly *BOOM* there it was just like that. My first reaction was simply to get over, but by that time the ambulance had passed and that was that.
Thinking about that ambulance and the hospital on my drive home I was thinking, I know someone was either dying or waiting for death to come, in need of some type of immediate care, and how fortunate we are to have such great hospitals, even an ambulance to come screaming in a mad rush to help save the sick and dying. I thought about my friend who was 36 and died about a month ago from alcohol. I thought about my stepbrother and my sister-in-law's 12 yr old daughter, both of them attempting suicide several times, seemingly more depressed than me (mine is of the heart). I did preach to both of them about salvation, they each had tears you know. Maybe you have seen this type of witness, another's utter agony, by looking into their eyes. I wonder ... does crying a river of tears ever solve anything?
I was thinking that whoever it was in that ambulance were about as close to knowing what absolute truth is all about and quickly. I am only 42 and on average would have another 35 years to live, if I'm lucky. I wondered if their heart was right with God; did they know and accept the Lord Jesus? The Bible reveals that many will die and go to Hell. By saying this in public, I am sure to be called all sorts of things, rejected by those who do not hold my faith in God and Jesus Christ.
Do they believe God is in control?
As I sit here contemplating either the PUBLISH or DELETE button I'm wondering; what is the point in writing something like this anyway. Will anyone listen or try to understand? Or will those who hear not listen and instead, label others while not listening to themselves and what God has declared. I suppose it would be considered intolerant to say such a thing to those who reject these words, claiming that one such as myself is only spewing venom. Others will claim that I preach "take this religion or die". On and on it seems to go, without any rest as the battle rages in every direction.
Well, I've been home for a while now and just got back from having Sunday dinner with my mom and step dad. Knowing that I ate today while half the world will have nothing. Yes, I think God is in control, for me, but what about the other half that did not eat. I wonder if they believe that God is in control? I do thank God for giving to me the food that others will not see, while others will die because they have none. Many will look the other way and could care less, while others try in vain to help, with some ease of suffering. Others lie and steal, claiming they will do something, but only end up stealing everything. Do they know that God is in control?
I wonder, while sitting here listening to the Smashing Pumpkin's tune Drown, what is the point in engaging the heathen? What does light have to do with darkness? Many of my friends and family are lost to eternity, separated from God, and that churns the heart you see. What does it take to do these things, knowing that we will be hated, despised and ridiculed for doing so. The Bible says that our brothers and sisters before us, went through the same Strait Gate and went down the same narrow path. It is difficult because, what is the point in discussing these things with those who do not want to listen, even those who are fooled by the flatteries of liars.
Yes I know God is in control, as others have verified the same and we agree. So what is the point, as I consider and choose the Publish button, knowing I have declared God's word to all who care to hear it, even those who want nothing to do with it, rejecting this as blind intolerance, driven by bigotry and hate. I am considered offensive for standing against the blindness that has claimed my family, friends and neighbors, who I care for very much. God said, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you;" "They hated me without a cause". What is the point as I press the button and wonder if anyone will listen?
Well... I'm off to finish the laundry.
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