It Rains On The Good and The Bad
All the years I drove my own truck over the road the verse from Proverbs 3:5-6 was painted on the sides of my hood. The verse says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your path.” The Good Lord opened the doors and paved the way for me to be in my own truck and I wanted people to know where my blessings come from. Believing it has made me come to understand sometimes the things he has to say to us are things we do not want to hear. Another verse made me understand that the truth will in fact set us free. If we believe in God he orders our paths and brings all things to pass for our good. Sort of like when he can pick five torn souls at a writer’s conference of several hundred people. Bring them together from different parts of the country. Set them down at one table so they can encourage each other that there is hope. Making us see that even in our time of suffering and dealing with things we do not understand, he is with us. Of the five of us at the table four had recently lost a loved one. The fifth was dealing with fear of losing a loved one. I may be wrong but I see that as God being at work in our presence. Coincidence? I think not. Read my next post or go to my blog of 3/29/12 which is the second part of my book Further Down the Path, which I posted free in seven parts and scroll down to the Testimony and you will see why I do not believe in accidents.
Tuesday morning 9/11/2001 dawned a beautiful and clear day. I found myself unloading in Bayonne, NJ. I had just delivered a load of spices from Reno, NV. As the load bought me through my home I took a day off en route. Usually I delivered on Mondays but the day off at home put me in Bayonne on Tuesday. I finished unloading at 07:30 and took a couple minutes to do my paperwork. As I left and moved to the north bound waterfront road I noticed people all staring, and some pointing east. As I looked across the river I could see smoke pouring from the top of one of the World Trade Center buildings. I pulled over for a few minutes and watched. I was not sure what I was watching but I could tell it was intense. I turned on my radio and picked up a local station. The radio announcer was in the other tower. He was excited and describing the chaos. He stated that people had been advised to evacuate his building and that a plane had flown into the other tower. He also stated he was staying on the radio and reporting. As I started hearing local sirens I decided where I was sitting I might be in the way of traffic. The best thing for me to do was quit rubber necking(a term for people who try to see the gore in an accident) and get out of the area. On my way to the truck stop in Bloomsbury, NJ my radio suddenly went dead. The next channel I found on the radio announced that another plane had hit the other tower. As I walked into the truck stop the area around the TV sales point was packed with people. I arrived just in time to see the first building go down. What I did not realize until sometime later that it was the second one hit that went down first. Suddenly I realized why my radio went dead. The disc jockey paid the ultimate price to share what he knew. We all need to learn to share. We also need to learn to listen. Certainly he had no clue as the events unfolding and the price of his decision. It is always important to share what we know and feel, because we are not promised tomorrow. It is best to put it all in God's hands and follow what he puts in our hearts. Regardless of the outcome we need to know that his will is being done, even if we do not understand it at the time.
As horrible as 9/11 was there have been far more destructive manmade disasters. The atomic bombs in dropped on Japan killed a hundred times as many people in the manmade disasters of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. In December of 2004 almost a hundred times as many would die in a Tsunami. Nature would not be outdone by man. The tsunami would be followed shortly by Hurricane Katrina. John Mutter a Columbia University professor estimates the loss of life from all cause in Hurricane Katrina to be around 3500 people. Most of us are aware of the earthquake in Japan followed by a tsunami. Having seen the magnitude of that disaster on TV it amazes me so few were killed.
Why the focus on all this death and destruction? Some preachers I have heard actually proclaimed there were no Christians in the World Trade Centers. That is not what Jesus said. In Luke 13:1-5 he made it clear that it is not how you die, but your relationship to him when you die that is important. We are all going to die at some point in time. Jesus spent his last night on earth warning his disciples of what the end of the world would be like. He said it would be as it was in the days of Noah. He said that people would be eating, drinking and marrying. He left out what Genesis 6:3-5 said. He could do that because those who truly know him, know His Word and what it says. Those who truly know him will be able to discern the time they are in. We will not know the hour or the day. However we will be able to tell it is the time. Looking around us at all the destruction and mankind killing mankind it certainly resembles the time of Noah.
So how do we get ourselves ready to meet our Lord and Savior. We need to get in His Word and study to make ourselves approved and live our lives according to His Word. God said in Hosea 4:6 “My people perish for a lack of knowledge.” He did not say the unbelievers, or the sinners. He said “My people” that means people that think they have a relationship with God. So how do we know if we truly have a relationship with God? In First John 2:27 His Word makes it clear that we do not need any man to teach us how to follow him. If we are truly in relationship with him we will be in His Word and he will teach us what we need to know. If we are in right relationship with God how we perish is immaterial. Our destination is clearly defined, just as the destination for those who do not have a relationship is clearly defined.
As evil as all the above mentioned destruction is, God has a purpose in it.
Isaiah Chapter 57:1
1The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.
Evil is on its way.