I have been a Christian for over 35 years. Almost from the beginning, I heard sermons about the Lord’s imminent return. I remember when my oldest daughter (I’ve sinced birthed two additional daughters and a son) was a toddler, and a zealous brother in the Lord asked me “Do you think you’ll get to see her grow up?” He appeared hopeful that this would not be the case. Stan was disenchanted with the world he’d known and ready to be beamed up. That very hour was not too soon for him, but his question made me fearful and anxious. I didn’t even want to consider what he was putting out there. I wanted to see my baby girl grow up even in this troubled world. I guess every generation does.
If the world was dark then, it seems darker still now, or perhaps I chose to be blissfully unaware and concentrate on raising my kids and everything else you have to take care of living on Planet Earth. Certainly the world was not a pleasant place prior to the birth of Jesus. Their was a flood that destroyed all but a small segment of humans (Believer and unbeliver alike know THAT story), bloody wars and, as incomprehensible as that might seem, children sacrified to various gods by their own parents, but I did not live back then, and it certainly appears, during my lifetime, the world just keeps becoming more hostile, more frightening, and far less God honoring. There was a time when even unbelievers exhibited a certain restraint and respect when it came to any mention of God. There was almost a reverence there. During recent years, I have seen much of that awe fly out the window replaced by outright blasphemy. I’ve even heard so-called believers proclaiming in frustration “Jesus Christ!” I’ve never seen anyone exprssing distaste or correcting them, but it’s hardly a blip on the radar screen when you consider what else is going on.
Currently there are more slaves in the world than there have ever before in recorded history. This is mind boggling when you consider the captivity of Jews in Egypt and America’s shameful past in forcing captured Africans into slavery. News of beheadings have practically become ho hum news. Obviously I could go on and on as the torrent of horror washes over us like a tsunami. It seems the choice is to either numb out or writhe in pain like a slug covered in a salt shower.
Well thought of prophets are having dreams and visions, and, folks, they ain’t pretty. Many of us have experienced an increase in personal attacks that seem to come out of left field. Obviously the bible has a lot to say about fasting, and, through the years, I’ve been inconsistent at best, but I’m starting to feel it’s not just a recommendation but rather a requirement for my life, because I’m not feeling so happy go lucky and carefree these days, and I know the joy of the Lord is my strength. If fasting brings about peace and joy and calm and wisdom, I say bring on the growling tummy. If prayer and praise and worship will push away the darkness, then I need to get on my knees and on my face, and lay aside some worldly pleasures, because there’s only so many hours in the day, and my energy is not infinite.
It’s crazy to think I could really be living in the last days, but some generation is going to, and it could easily be me. I’m not one to listen to the news, but just the stuff that trickles in penetrates my denial like a steak knife plunging into a bowl of whipped butter.
I find myself from time to time singing an old refrain made famous by the late Sam Cooke… “People, get ready.” “There’s a train a coming.” “Don’t need no money.” “You just get on board.”