Reflections of Today’s World

I opened up the curtains on this morning, a particularly groggy day. I can’t quite draw my gaze away from the silver lake. Today it is overcast, hazy, the water almost a blue-gray. The mist has departed. But it’s so beautiful to me. It’s as if the trees have a better metallic mirror today to cast their long images on to. Even the smoke from a steady lone burn seems to seep into the water and fade away. The little loons float lazily on the water, yet suddenly where there was four, there is now one. Their long dip beneath the surface never seems to yield a visible sign of whether they caught something. But still, they survive each day, as the Lord provides for them. A couple of nomad seagulls keep their distance from all, finding their own foraging spots. I imagine from previous days, there are a couple of bald eagles, hanging out on a seemingly dead limb, spying out future meals, preparing their nest it seems.

The only signs of life are a distant humming of some unidentified machine, and a plume of billowing smoke across the way, as someone is burning who knows what. As I write this, somebody began hammering something that sounded like wood, and a loon also called to make me a liar. The still, mainly curtained homes remind me of Gingerbread houses in some jumble of a fairy tale. Some show barely visible roofs, peeking out of trees in red, gold, rust, wine, and various colors of green that are nestled around them. I don’t know what the stories of the people across the lake could be. Mountains shrouded in misty clouds provide the backdrop for this idyllic scene. Things are winding down for winter.

While I scanned this peaceful scene in the hush of the morning, the painter Bob Ross popped into my mind. I never quite understood my mom’s fascination with his teaching as a child, yet it may be partly what stirred her to paint herself. Or maybe it was just an innate desire in us to be like our Creator. I wonder if Bob Ross knew Jesus.

I pondered over others who may not see this day as so beautiful. Maybe they would find it more dreary or even depressing since the sun hasn’t seen fit to break out of the haze. But it reminds me in many ways of our lives. Each season is different, each one is experienced in a different way by every person. And I wonder if these times in life are here so we appreciate the other times. There is most certainly a beauty and a reason to each season in life.

That made me think of a Bible verse (or two) that came to mind last night for whatever reason.

Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better (Ecc 7:3).

I’ve experienced this in the deaths and illnesses of those I love. I won’t go into details beyond that, because others have experienced the same and more. But my heart was made better, solely because I needed the Lord in those sorrowful times. It is true, He satiates the weary soul and replenishes the sorrowful soul (Jer 31:25). We are always better when we are abiding in Him (Jn 15). Apart from Him, we can do nothing (of any lasting value). And Solomon sure came to understand this.

King Solomon the Preacher

Solomon, the King, now the preacher, was the wisest man who ever lived, yet a humbling picture of all of our frailties as humans. Faithful, unfaithful, disobedient, obedient, wise, foolish – all, depending on whether he walked with the Lord, or whether he walked in the darkness. Late in life, he was drawn after other gods (following instead his many wives and concubines, another foolish choice Solomon lamented). We all do similar things, no point in thinking we would do better, we would fail in another weakness of our own. All depending on whether or not we are walking in the Spirit (Gal 5:16). Solomon said (in understanding), the fool walks in darkness.

What is the meaning of life?

My thoughts drift off (as usual) from where I start an article. In Ecclesiastes, Solomon speaks of the meaning of life — that which is around us, going on from day to day (as the sun rising and setting and hurrying again to its rising place). Our eyes aren’t satisfied with what we see, nor our ears with what we hear. How sadly true that has manifested throughout my life. It wasn’t that I cared about things as much, yet I carelessly acquired so much. But now I wonder, how did we imagine we could be filled with that which does not and cannot satisfy? Or as it was put much better, “And indeed, all was vanity and a grasping for the wind.”

The world and all that is in it, the lust of the flesh, the lust of our eyes, the pride of life, is not of Him (1 John 2:16). It caused our separation from Him in the beginning. And so much sorrow for us all. How long does it take us to learn this? I am not speaking of not enjoying the blessings God has given us, but the tendency of our flesh’s desire is never good. This world is fallen. Yet in Creation, I still see those glimpses and glimmers of what the Lord meant it to be for us with Him in the beginning — but man rebelled. Wanting to do it our own way. Solomon also wrote in Proverbs a couple of times, that there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death. 

Eternal Life and Eternal Death

I see life and death contrasted everywhere these days, a foreshadowing of what is to come in eternity (I realize it always has been that way). Good and evil. Christ and Antichrist. Right and wrong. Righteous and the unrighteous. But it seems particularly malignant these days.

The stench of sin and death is heavy in the burn season of today’s evil leaders. Trying to mimic and counterfeit everything the Lord has done, but evil not good (Isa 5:20). Instead of the sun hastening to rise again where it did the day before, the wicked rush to the darkness — their fruit is evil, I have no desire to know what their dark, dead limbs are hiding. But one day it will all be exposed and judged.

Render unto Caesar that which is Caesars

Often that Bible verse is used as an excuse for us to faithfully pay taxes. What we pay to Caesar today, is being used for evil and against us more than ever. They abuse their power sadly, and instead of representing us, they are our enemies. They use our borders as enticement, offering money and incentives to criminals to come here (on the flip side I pray for those who will come to know Him in this, and the innocent who are suffering). They use our coin to deconstruct the medical system, the fire departments, the police, first responders, military and more — firing those who disobey them. Then they double down their bet as they tell us they will not take care of those who have not bowed the knee to their wicked edicts (Governor Polis in Colorado is one of those). Supposed newscasters (like Don Lemmon), mock those who have not bowed, saying we do not deserve to even eat. People we have known and grown up with us, join in the mocking, even hatred. One such woman, a classmate from a Christian High School I went to, (currently a local school nurse), wished I would die from Covid, simply saying so she wouldn’t have to see my posts again. Still shaking my head, but God bless her and forgive her.

Nothing new under the Sun

In Ecclesiastes 1, we are reminded that there is nothing new under the sun. We tend to forget what believers have suffered throughout time or across the world. Those who were murdered, burned, hung, sawn in two, crucified. Like Noah, those who were mocked by the wicked (think of how long he was mocked by those whose destruction was sure). I wonder how much sorrow Noah must have experienced with such evil around him. Abraham, who left the comfort of the familiar, and sojourned to a whole new land, all because he trusted God, even though he did not know where he was going. His wife Sarah, (I can’t imagine that I might not have laughed either). Yet in her old age, she conceived as God said she would. And yet neither saw the whole of what God had promised them and still, they believed. Blessed are those who believe without seeing, we walk by faith, not by sight (Jn 20:29; 2 Cor 5:7). And we need to remind ourselves of that often. Our trust is in Him, not ourselves. Leaning on Him, instead of our own understanding (Pr 3:5-6). Our trust is not in our little faith, but in knowing Him, that He is good, and is not a man that He should lie. His promises are to be believed. No matter we see, we will be delivered one day. Maybe not in this lifetime, but believers will live again with Him eternally.

Rage Rage against the dying of the light

A foolish poet (sorry Dylan) once wrote;

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at the close of day; rage rage against the dying of the light.”

But the Word contradicts Thomas and assures believers that to be absent from the body (dead) is to be present with the Lord. That’s no dying of the light. It’s coming into a Light we could not even bear to look at in our physical bodies. I had hopes that maybe he had come to understand when he wrote a poem entitled, ‘Death shall have no dominion’. But I was wrong. It was a sad but poignant picture of a natural man trying to interpret God’s Word, as well as adding and taking away from it. The Bible says that person is a fool. I sincerely hope he had an understanding of the truth at some time in his life. 

What is the meaning of life?

Many people wish they knew the meaning of life. From the beginning, we were created to commune and walk with God. We very simply blew it in deciding to rebel and do it our own way. This caused sin, death, and destruction in general. The wages of all sin is death (eternal). God still does not desire that for anyone, even the most wicked among us. Yes, even the murderer, the adulterer, or the most horrific crime you do not want to imagine — even then, God still does not wish one to perish eternally. But it is up to each person to accept or reject God, whether in the belief of His gospel (good news), or remaining in unbelief, it is a choice. Without God, we are nothing. And not only because of eternal death and separation from God, but also our desperate need for Him in this temporal life we have now. People need the Lord to just get through.

Who is Jesus?

Jesus is not somehow just a good man (as some say), nor only a prophet (although He prophesied). Jesus is certainly not the half-brother of Satan. Jesus is the one and only uniquely born, Son of God, that God gave to the world in great love. (Jn 3:16-18; Rom 5:6-8; John 15:13; Gal 2:20; Eph 2:4-9). He is the Eternal Son who always was, the one and only Savior (Messiah/Christ). None before Him and there will be no Messiahs after Him (except the false ones).

What did Jesus do for all?

Jesus offered His life in place of all of us. A sin-offering, pleasing to His Father because He was perfect. No one took His life, Jesus laid it down willingly (Jn 10:17-18). And He took it back up again, (rose again from the dead after 3 days and nights), proving He is God in the flesh, and that He alone had the power over sin, death, and the grave (1 Cor 15:50-58). There is no longer a sting in death for those who will place their faith in Him to save them. He died on the cross paying for all of our sins, offering complete forgiveness and pardon (if you will believe on Him to save you eternally.)

The Bible told us these things before they happened — thousands of years ahead of time (Rom 15:4). His Word shows us the best of us have failed His standard (perfection), we have fallen short of God’s perfect stand, and will die without Him. No good deed or work can help save, we cannot do anything to save ourselves. But He showed His love for us, by dying for the ungodly. All sins were forgiven at His cross. Do you know where you will go if you died today?

His Word puts it this way:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Rom 3:23

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 6:23

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph 2:8-9

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:6-8

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. 1 Cor 15:3-4

 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Col 2:13-15

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. John 5:24

9 Responses to “Reflections of Today’s World

  • David Busciglio
    1 month ago

    Well said, sister. Very well said. Jesus, the eternal Son of God, paid it all – John 19:30, Heb 10:10-14. God bless;

    David J Busciglio, Calvary Community Church, Tampa

    • Thank you for adding those David. I sure love those both. Hebrews 10:10-14 is so good for Roman Catholics if they will just consider those Words and ask if that is what they believe. I appreciate your encouragement. In Christ, Holly

  • Julia Pomeroy
    4 weeks ago

    I have not yet finished reading your blog but a phrase caught my eye which sent me right back to the beginning of your piece – “I still see those glimpses and glimmers of what the Lord meant it to be for us with Him in the beginning, but man rebelled. Wanting to do it our own way. ” As I read it and as I was picturing the scene in my mind’s eye I saw momentary partings of the autumnal mist, flashes of glorious colours and light and it caused me to think of how like my life this has been. Mostly misty, difficult to understand, many times, but then there would be brief revelations of God in the midst of it all, which enabled me to continue walking with Him through this misty vale of life knowing the promise of what is to come.
    Also being English I am used to ‘misty’ which has a beauty all of its own. Thank you, I will now get back to reading the rest of your blog.

  • Julia Pomeroy
    4 weeks ago

    I have now read the rest of your blog – beautiful, it is so beautiful and brought peace and rest to my spirit reading and, therefore, reminding us all, of what Jesus did for us and when we have waiting for us if we will but patiently endure – Revelation 3:10a. May He grant all of us the power to patiently endure and await His calling of His Bride home.

  • ianpomeroy
    4 weeks ago

    Thank you.
    It is very sobering to realise that there are consequences for all of us in all that we do.
    I am so thankful that our Lord Jesus was able to wake me up to that truth and I am concerned for those who refuse to respond to Him.
    Sorrow has a way of drawing us too Him.

    • Ian, when I lost my husband and still had 7 children at home, it was too much for me to bear alone, thankfully. It drew me back to walking more with Him (with His help). And my mom’s chemo and the loss of my dad during that time. When my son had his terrible accident, I didn’t think I could keep on. But He upheld me. I do not know how people live without the Lord.

  • Debbie Jensen
    4 weeks ago

    Thank you Holly! Great read!
    Dj

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