Sunday, January 17, 2010
Sept 11, 2001 - New York City - People running wildly, their faces etched with fear and horror. They are running without any sense of diection in a desperate effort to escape the destruction that has come upon them.
Dec. 26, 2004 - Indonesia - People running, climbing trees, hiding under buildings their faces etched with fear and horror, as they try to escape the mountains of water that are coming their way.
Jan 12, 2010 - Haiti - People running while the ground collapses beneath them and buildings tumble around them, their faces etched with fear and horror.
These are just three of the scenes that are played out every time there is a major disaster similar to those mentioned above. What are these people running from, and what are they running to? When I wrote my blog on Sunday last about home and shelter, little did I realize that I would be dealing with this same topic this week in a different way.
The catastrophic events now unfolding in Haiti are a grim reminder of the temporary nature of our home here on this earth. It is just a shelter. The presidential palace was just a shelter. Its magnificent structure has been subjected to the wrath of the earthquake in the same way as the more modest shelters. Soon it will be broken up and carted away with the rest of the rubble.
Jesus warned, ""Do you see all these things? I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down" (Matthew 24:2) NIV. My friends, I throw out the call that I made last week: Let's go home. Let's not wait until disaster strikes to flock to the churches. They cannot save us. Let's go home to Jesus now.
In the preceding chapter He said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing" (23:37). Jesus still wants to do that today. Are you willing? Will you run to Him? Don't put it off any longer. I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2)
As our prayers and tears flow with those of the people of Haiti, let us look at ourselves and think, if we were to die tomorrow, where would we end up? Will we be in a permanent, happy home, or a permanent home of torture? Let's pray: Dear Jesus, I have been stubborn, I have not paid heed to Your call to come home to You. I ask You to forgive me of my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Make Your home in me and I will make my home in You, now and forever. Amen.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
When you think of home what image comes to your mind? Some place that is warm, cozy and inviting, filled with all the things you hold dear. A place where you can entertain friends and share God's blessings? Or is home a spot on a sidewalk somewhere, or under a bridge, or maybe, a shelter. For many people right here in America, that's what home is.
Home may be a reflection of one's personality, and I daresay, one's pocket book. But whether it's a simple structure like the others in your neighborhood, a magnificent, custom-built mansion or a box on the sidewalk, it is just a shelter. Temporary. Here today, gone tomorrow.
I think of Jonah sitting under a tree to see what would happen to Nineveh after he had preached to them. And the Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. (Jonah 4:6). NKJV But this was only temporary, for God took it away.
For me, the word shelter brings up another image. A place where you take temporary cover from the rain, storm, or the heat of the sun. But the psalmist David speaks of another kind of shelter. For You have been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. Ps 61.3
And again in Psalms 18:2, he speaks of a different kind of structure: The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Here we get a picture of durability, strength, dependability. Something or Someone that can hide us from our enemies and deliver us. Something that will always be there for us. It cannot be moved. Only by putting our trust in God can we find this kind of protection. Whether you are fortunate to have a place you can call home, you still need the kind of security that only God can provide. You cannot find it on your own, or look to the government for it. Neither should we become unduly attached to it, for we know it is just a shelter, something temporary. Instead we should look to one day inheriting that permanent home that is reserved for the saints of God.
As Paul says, "For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens(2 Corinthians 5.1). He is