By the time you’re as old as Pete and I are, life has thrown some pretty dramatic curve balls. There have been periods of calm, joy, success, and everything going just right. And then there are those times when all hell breaks loose (literally), the enemy attacks, and you wonder what in the world God is doing!
Pete’s recent medical adventures (see my March 15 post: Pete Tries to Go to Heaven… Again) have proved to be both a “what in the world!” experience and a huge opportunity to know God better. One thing that God has impressed on me over the last few months is that He is in charge even when everything is going crazy.
A friend emailed me this morning, distraught that he’d been unfriended on Facebook because of some comments he’d made defending Christianity. I didn’t find his remarks all that offensive—unfriending seems a rather extreme reaction!
Then there was this week’s news that North Korea has banned the import of any products with shapes or logos resembling a cross. It’s not just religious articles or symbols—the ban includes men’s neckties and women’s hair pins!
At first glance, these two events seem to have little in common. A closer look suggests that the same emotion underlies both—fear. Let me explain.
Temptations come in many guises. There are the obvious ones—alcohol to an alcoholic, internet porn, illicit drugs. There are the ones we can rationalize—overeating (I obviously struggle with that one!), irresponsibility, such as watching TV or playing games when you should be doing something else, selfishness, preferring our comfort over the needs of others.
Life is full of temptations to ignore God, disobey His word, put ourselves first. We all are faced with an ongoing stream of ways to get life wrong, but recently I came across an incident in Luke 22 that’s helping me do better.
Pete hasn’t had a break all week. First it was just the distraction of moving back into our house. Then the email router at the ICTA office stopped working. That used up five days and it still isn’t really fixed. On Thursday a construction crew on the street outside the office accidentally hit a gas line, and the entire building had to be evacuated. So much for getting any work done.
That evening our router at home starting having fits and we lost our internet service. Then, while on the phone to the phone company (which also provides our internet service), the home land line died. (You know it’s bad when you can’t call the phone company!) Oh, and did I mention that our poor cell reception is augmented by a “personal cell phone tower” which runs, you guessed it, over the internet. Pete had to leave the house to call the phone company on his cell phone.