Wednesday, March 6, 2024


     I haven’t posted anything in just over one month. We have a lot of things going on lately—house repairs, health issues, etc. My basketball team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, has even stopped winning as much after the All-Star break. What else might go wrong?
     My question is—does my contentment and happiness depend on things going right—upon my favorite team winning? Or does my contentment and happiness depend on something much, much deeper?
     Last time about a month ago in my post based on “Floods Upon Dry Ground, Chapter 7: Fiddling While Rome Burns”, Pastors Bobby Duncan and James Jones wrote about the well-known metaphor of what happened in 64 A.D. when during Emperor Nero’s reign, literally 70% of Rome burned to the ground. They compared it to today’s church, many of whom are asleep at the wheel—while family, friends, and others perish in a burning hell.
     Now Duncan and Jones pose some questions about the fact that sometimes difficulties in life, such as those my family is facing now, literally bring us to our knees in depending more on God than anything else for our contentment and happiness. The title of Chapter 8 in “Floods On Dry Ground” is “Pain of Corrective Judgement”.
     I don’t know about you, but I cringe a little to think that we as a family, as a community, as a state, as a country, and even as a world might experience more hardship than we already are experiencing. I sometimes think of people who have suffered the devastation of a storm ripping apart their homes, perhaps flooding them away, or even being in the center of a war with military tanks going down their streets. And, here I am, almost panicking when we have an electric outage, a small trickle of water in our basement, or a home appliance or car part failure.
     Duncan and Jones wrote that physical afflictions can cause us to call the doctor to diagnose our condition, and offer us medicine to bring about healing. We appreciate it so much when we feel well again. They compared it to the plague of locusts that God brought on the Israelite people in Joel 2. The Israelites were called by God to weep and repent of their sinfulness and failure to seek God—to earnestly call on Him to provide healing. They obeyed His command. He then heard their cries and He provided a spiritual awakening and restored blessings in the land.
     Duncan and Jones said that America is in “deep trouble”: They wrote, “Our government increasingly controls more of our private lives, as liberal policies fan the flames of class warfare, and godless socialism swallows up more of our institutions.” Our growing divide is a consequence of a church that has been asleep and ineffective.
     After 911 America had a concerted, but too brief attempt to seek the true God. Duncan and Jones wrote, “Quite possibly, God, in His mercy, will send a disturbance upon this land that will cause 911 to pale in comparison to it.” 
     They wrote that “the pain of God’s chastisement” might be “the very thing that prompts His people to seek Him for help and healing” and to bring about His promise of restoration, blessings, and spiritual awakening—just like in the time of Joel.

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