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9.02.2005

Fight Anarchy

I saw myself in the floodwaters of New Orleans. Not really, but it doesn't take much imagination to see "them" as "us" if "we" were going though the same hell. I can separate myself from them and say that I wouldn't do those things, that I've lived and learned and would be above the fray. But, really, except for the grace of God, I'm not so sure. As someone said this morning, I'd be a protector; I'd love people and encourage people and tell them to hang on, and I'd help people get what they needed as best I could because that's who I am and who I've become as a human being. But that's God at work, right? There's real discipline in the lives of people who've stopped looking out for self and started loving God, loving people above all. And the ones who survive and later thrive will get their because they live that way, not as reward or recompense, but as the natural overflow of living out the Kingdom of God right here.

The Kingdom is still here, still in the Gulf Coast region, and God is still on the throne. He wasn't surprised, and He's not just wishing us the best even now. He's not wringing His hands wondering what we'll do; this isn't a cliffhanger at the end of the TV season for Him. His heart is grieved - every person suffering is in the line of sight of the Father, who mourns with them. Whether He "allowed" this or "caused" this is a fine line - but it's happened, and it's impact will show what we're made of, what we're about. When disaster strikes, the level of discipline is revealed - for better or for worse.

My prayers are that those who are strong and patient and kind are overwhelming the lawlessness with love and peace. I'm hoping for forgiveness more than blame, for real help instead of political finger-pointing. It's all bad, none of it is deserved or all of it is deserved, take your pick. And there was not enough done to plan and prepare beforehand for what's happening now. So the mistake has been made, and people will be replaced in all levels of government and society in those regions. But right now there's still real hurt, real pain & death, real suffering, among real people who are made in the image of God and still have a connection to Him through grace and the love of Christ.

Fight anarchy. Fight it in my life now by being disciplined in my spending, in my time management, in my worship of the Lord, in my reading time and internet time and time with my kids. Self-control comes as a fruit of the Spirit - may I live in a way that reveals growth when it gets rough out there.

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