January 2, 2015
Count The Blessings
No, I'd have to say that any "good will toward men" has come on the individual, personal level. From that perspective, I have witnessed a growing hunger among (a remnant of) faithful people to know God more nearly and dearly. It's like there is truly an "awakening" that the things of this world are fleeting; that what is important is to seek and know God more deeply -- to truly "get right" with Him.
In 2014, I saw a lightbulb go on with regards to preparing for a more difficult future; again among a small, dedicated group of people. More time was dedicated to getting into shape, self-defense training, and thinking how to survive any number of possible threats. This last year was a time of "facing reality" and "getting in the game".
In that sense, I find that all of 2014's problems and difficulties were really a blessing in disguise. Here's why: we in America have lived in a bubble for so long, that we haven't had to face the realities that the majority of the rest of the world comes up against. Safe and warm, snuggled up next to our latest technology companion, we haven't known the fear, hunger or turmoil of disrupted lives. We find comfort and security in our money and our things, and perceive ourselves as indestructible. America has yet to be subjected to an enemy that could invade our land, persecute us for our faith, or take our life at their will. We have lived comfortable, prosperous, easy and secure lives.
But in 2014 -- if we were smart -- we were shaken out of our fog of protected privilege by Ebola, beheadings, and the perversion of the rule of law. You're probably thinking, "That's a good thing???" Yes! If it shakes us to our core and wipes the scales from our eyes, in order that we see what is coming upon the world, then it is a blessing, an advantage. "But", you ask, "Would anyone really choose to remain clueless and oblivious to possible threats against them or their families?" Sadly, the answer is yes. Ignorance means you can continue to live a secluded, delusional life of perceived safety and prosperity. But, if you are one of the fortunate ones who "woke up" in 2014, count your blessings. Now make the most of it, and don't waste another minute. Strengthen yourselves physically, morally and spiritually, and you will have a good foundation to weather 2015 and beyond.
And you may find this strange, but PLW has a unique outlook on some of the sadness that we experienced in 2014. It seems that we unexpectedly lost really good, kind, loving people this last year; either to a sudden illness, tragic accident, or through unforeseen circumstances. The world seems an emptier and colder place without them. But he strongly feels that God may be taking them out early, because they would not be able to withstand the ugliness that is coming. This is not to say that they are weak; it is His grace that is sparing their gentle souls. And for that, I can count my loss as their great blessing.
For the rest of us who must live our lives in this confounding and bewildering world, our blessings will become more precious. Moving from 2014 into 2015, we must look for them in relationships -- those we build and those we mend. The blessings will come when we take our eyes off ourselves and gaze upon the sovereignty of a God who rules the universe. Blessings will be found in efforts to serve God by serving others and making another's burden just a little lighter. By encouraging each other, teaching each other, ministering to each other's needs, and most of all, sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, we can reap the most out of this fallen world. I wish you many blessings in the coming year; one filled with the Divine favor and protection of our Lord and Savior!
Numbers 6:24-26 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace."