Bring On the Wave

Last night I finished reading a novel by William Forstchen called, One Second After. While it is a novel, it was written to highlight what might happen if an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) wave hit, in this case, the continental United States. Apparently this is a real threat, according to Newt Gingrich, speaker of the house, who wrote the forward and navy captain, Bill Sanders, who wrote the afterword. The book describes what happened to a small town after the pulse weapon was activated, when nothing electronic would work. Neighbours became enemies in the fight for survival and strangers became friends to stand together for the common good. The true nature of man, however noble he may see himself when times are relatively good, appeared in odd bursts of intertwined sacrifice and selfishness.

Oddly enough the book triggered emotions in me that had nothing to do with EMP waves or any of the events and actions described in its pages. I cried buckets for lost causes, lost dreams, lost people, the irredeemable of life. Like the people in the story, there are times when we have to face the fact that we have to let go of the things that have anchored us without knowing what our anchor will be tomorrow and our emotions overwhelm us. Being guided by how we feel can be disabling and even dangerous thing. Elizabeth Scalia writes: “Objective Truth is dead. It has been slain by human feelings — by a soft tyranny of sentimentalism which dictates that how a person feels about anything now defines its reality.” ( I feel black so I am black as Rachel Dolezal says.  I feel like a woman so I am a woman as Bruce Jenner says. I feel hopeless so I am without hope...

This morning I read Psalm 16 and somehow it connected with the emotions I had felt the night before. It’s a psalm that reminds all of us that there is an anchor that not even an EMP wave can disable, that how I feel is not reality. Though I need to acknowledge how I feel and examine WHY I have those feelings, my life is not to be defined by how I feel. I am not the centre of even my own universe—or shouldn’t be! The centre is in Someone else. The whole psalm is amazing but here are a few of the highlights:

…in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, ‘You are my LORD; I have no good apart from you’” (vss 1, 2).

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot” (vs. 5).

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure” (vss 7, 8, 9).

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (vs 11).

Our anchor must be in the LORD, not in ourselves. Unlike our feelings, unlike the circumstances of life, He never changes. He never moves, nor can He be moved. No EMP can knock Him out. When He is our ANCHOR in an anchorless world, our ABSOLUTE in a world that claims no absolutes, we can enjoy the reality of what the psalmist expresses.

In the book by Forstchen, the town had to chose someone to be in charge so that their world would not be reduced to chaos. Though they had a council of leading citizens and experts to make decisions for the benefit of the town, someone had to make the final decision—he was their “king.” Judges describes a time when Israel had no king. They had abandoned the One who was their anchor, their refuge, their God. Judges 21:25 says: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” Whatever they felt, they did. That was their reality. The results were horrific then, just as they are now.

Last night’s emotions have given way to today’s absolute truth: “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.” Bring on the wave.


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