Sunday, May 29, 2011

Prediction: May 21, 2011

Pastor David, this morning, talked about Harold Camping's end-of-the-world prediction for May 21, 2011 and what we can learn from its being incorrect.  I want to preface my summary of Pastor David's sermon by saying: across the board, I have so much respect for his careful words and sensitive heart, and he didn't disappoint, this morning; he started both by saying he had no interest in throwing Mr. Camping under the bus, and by reminding that some of Mr. Camping's followers used their entire life savings to warn others of the impending end of the world, and there's nothing funny about that.

Pastor David shared three points.  Firstly, he said we must be careful whom we follow.  He wondered if we would've taken the prediction more seriously had it come from Charles Stanley, John MacArthur, or Billy Graham.  (I leaned toward Cade and whispered: "Or Oprah?")  And Pastor David reminded: we should not follow man; we should follow God.  Pastor David encouraged us to talk with him if he ever says anything that seems to depart from God's word.  Again, I have so much respect!

Secondly, Pastor David challenged us to ask ourselves: are we ready?  He reminded us that Jesus is coming, even if a billboard doesn't warn as much.  The day will come as a thief in the night (I Thessalonians 5:2).

Thirdly, Pastor David challenged us to ask ourselves: what would we do differently, today, if we truly believed the world would end tomorrow?  He read the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 24:14-30) and talked about how we should use that with which we have been entrusted to serve the Lord with a sense of urgency.

Great sermon, and it caused me to think even more about Harold Camping's prediction and how I have been affected by it.

I have blogged, before, about Emily Wierenga's imperfect prose community and how much it means to me.  A few days ago, I clicked on a link, there, and read a post by "Old Ollie" that shook me in the best of ways and left me feeling (if I am to be perfectly honest) quite convicted.

Because, truth be told, I am no Rose.  I love Jesus and look forward to meeting Him, someday.  But--when May 21 ended without incident--I felt something akin to relief.  I am glad to be here, still.  I am.

I asked Jim: "If it were up to you, would you want Jesus to come right now?"

And with almost no hesitation, he answered something like: "I would.  Cade's been saved, the girls haven't yet reached the age of accountability, and we would all be together in heaven.  And I would get to see my dad again."

It bothers me, a little, that I don't feel that way.  I'm 100% sure of my salvation, but I wonder: if I choose here over heaven (at least for now) am I walking close enough to Jesus?  Am I choosing them (my family) over HIM?  It's a matter of prayer, but I'm almost afraid to pray; would something terrible have to happen to make me want to leave this place? 

So, for now, the only prayer I have is this:

Thank you, Lord, that I find what You've given me so incredible that I'm not sure I want to leave here, just yet.  Thank You for giving me my heart's desire in this creaky, leaky, fleasie log cabin.  Thank You for my husband.  I see You in him, Lord; I do.   And in the boy with drying-up poison ivy on his face, who crowds me in the pew and on the sofa.  I see You in the flea-bitten Wild Orange with patriotic sundress and floral rain boots, who tilts her face and says, "Happy Birthday, Mommy," because that's the nicest thing she can think to say.  And I see you in the Stinkerbell baby of neon hair and uneven smile.  Please keep us safe, Lord, and keep us together: here or there.  We want You in the midst no matter where.  Amen.

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