Anybody Out There Listening?
“His wisdom is profound, his power is vast. Who has resisted him and come out unscathed?” —Job 9:4, NIV
In recent days a huge chunk of the world has watched in astonished wonder as the power of nature has affected millions of lives. From epic snowstorms that cut a swath through more than half of the United States and parts of Canada, to the maximum force of a cyclone sweeping across Australia. We’ve almost forgotten the earthquake in Haiti and the flooding in Pakistan last year. A year, six months later, these events still find people in those countries living without shelter and adequate means to provide for themselves and their families. A mountain in Japan is spewing smoke and ash, a portent of more devastation. But it is almost ignored in the light of more immediate events.
God yells. For brief moments, people call back—and then they forget. Like the righteous rush that took place after the events of 9/11, the seeking after God quickly takes a back seat. At the time it seems sincere, but real faith doesn’t take root easily.
I believe that God would rather whisper than shout. Unhappily, the human part of his creation is remarkably hard of hearing. So in his wisdom, he sends a message that should be difficult to ignore.
Is it punishment? Not yet. The flood of “biblical proportions” of Noah’s day is still greater than Pakistan and Australia have suffered in the past months, as terrible as those have been. There are people who believe that the movie 2012 is fact, not fiction, and are living in terror that the world will end next year. They are ignorant of how God says the world will finally end but still, the warning is there even out of pagan Hollywood. Dates and times are not ours to know, but it’s not the first time in history that God has spoken through agents who don’t acknowledge him.
God still extends his hand of mercy. He still speaks. There is still time. The question is, how many are really listening? How many will truly seek the One who says: “‘…I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’” —Jeremiah 29:11-13, NIV.