Yesterday I left my hairdresser with a feeling of cloudiness surrounding me—more than the cold grey skies outside. I realized our entire conversation was about the tragedies in our world. Her final statement, “I think the next generation is without hope,” stuck like glue in my thoughts.
If you want to get a take on the current thoughts of women (and men frequent this shop), this is a great place to gather day after day of conversations summarized and shared in the hour you are there. I don’t take lightly what she conveys to me—her own two kids are in the “next generation.”
And the nightly news seems in agreement. Frankly, I’d rather not listen to the nightly news—for a variety of reasons—but my husband likes to be aware of what the media is conveying, to give him a perspective that others may have. I think he’s smart.
But sometimes I want to be protected from reality—especially when it hurts. There is more than enough pain to go around in our world. Nation after nation is in peril. Ours is no exception. And sometimes I think my compassionate heart cannot take one more story of children being randomly killed, women gang raped or men caught up in a deadly war.
That’s why the words of Selwyn Hughes meant so much to me today.
Every kingdom is shakeable except the kingdom of God.
- The kingdom of finances is shakeable. The stock market goes up and down with the events of the day.
- The kingdom of health is shakeable. The doctor says, “I am afraid you have an incurable illness.”
- The kingdom of communism is shakable. It has to be held together by force. Relax the force and as the world has witnessed, it goes to pieces (Every Day Light, B & H, 1997, p. 6).
It seems many of our world governments are not only shakeable, but trembling! Crumbling! Is there hope for the next generation?
Hughes next statement is what I needed to hear today.
But in a world of flux be assured of this: Christians are people who belong to an unchanging Person and who dwell in an unshakeable kingdom. God is allowing kingdoms to be shaken so that they might discover the unshakeable kingdom—the kingdom of God (Every Day Light, B & H, 1997, p. 6)
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe…” (Heb 12:28)
My heart was re-energized as I soaked in the words of this verse.
And then I read again the familiar story of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20. At the words, “A vast army is coming against you…” The text says Jehoshaphat was alarmed. There seemed no way they could stand up against these nations and this imminent invasion.
In the midst of Jehoshaphat’s feelings of alarm, –I love this—he “resolved to inquire of the LORD and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.”
My hairdresser, raised Mormon, told me her family’s solution to such “alarms” was to stock and keep 7 years of food in their house at all times. You of course continually eat from it and add to it, so it remains fresh. That is one way they suggested she prepare for troubling times.
I love what Jehoshaphat did.
In a very scary situation he calls his people—and they respond!—to prayer. His own pray is so appropriate for us:
“LORD, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand and no one can withstand you.”
What follows is Jehoshaphat’s reminder of the history and promises of God. Then these concluding words:
“For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
These are the words of the King of Judah. For the most part, he was held in high esteem and his rule was well established. Was his kingdom “shakeable?” Amazing to hear his humble recognition of powerlessness without God’s intervention. And you well know the outcome of this situation. The truth once again plays out by God himself: Every kingdom is shakeable except the kingdom of God.
A 7-year supply of food, or my old “Y2K closet” (yes, it will forever be named such after the turn of the century scare of December 1999)—what difference will either make in the uncertain days ahead?
I wonder if a significant difference would be experienced if instead we chose (like Judah) to come together to fast and pray for our country and our world in 2013.