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Is This the End of the World? December 15, 2010

Posted by theronwatson in Uncategorized.
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Job 1:13-22
Real life is not like the movies. When we experience trauma in real life, we question God’s love for us and doubt His goodness. In the movies, traumatic events seem commonplace in a person’s life. Reality is often quite another thing. It is the everyday boredom coupled with the endless tedium of regular life. We look to the movies to jolt us out of our mundane existence into a life of fantasy and excitement. All that seems good until we encounter it for ourselves. That’s when the questions start; questions like, “why me Lord?”
In 2001, I was attending seminary in New Orleans. Our oldest son came into our bedroom early one morning in September complaining that there was something wrong with the TV. He was very young and I figured he hit a button and the menu came up or he changed the incoming signal and could not figure out how to make it go back. I got up to find an indescribable scene on the screen. It appeared to be a suspense thriller movie. There was a big building on fire. The news broadcaster was speaking frantically. There was a ticker going across the bottom of the screen saying something about an attack on the World Trade Center in New York. As I watched in disbelief wondering if this was some type of Orson Wells joke, I watched another plane fly into the second tower. I immediately thought, “We are under attack…” The ticker came alive with new information about other planes that crashed in other locations. I expected to get a call from my National Guard unit at any moment.
In 2005, I was a hospital Chaplain intern in Jackson, MS. A week after I completed the course, I was called to service in New Orleans by my National Guard unit after the levees broke. I saw unimaginable sights that are beyond description. I was routinely asked about the end of the world. So many people’s lives were thrown into chaos by so many events that it seemed to be the end of the world to them. I was asked many times if the world was coming to an end. The answer of course is, “Yes, the world is coming to an end.” Is it happening today? “No.” In the midst of chaos and turmoil, the world does however seem to be coming to an end for certain individuals. In the midst of such chaos and turmoil, where do we turn?
As various people posed the questions I wrestled with my own understanding of the End Times. I determined that the End will include such events, but will be much worse. Following the events of 9-11, I went to work and went through the motions, but I was in a daze, very little made any sense. In New Orleans, I saw despair on a grand scale, but these will amount to nothing in comparison to the End. I figure bad things will be happening all over, all at once. There will be ice storms in the north, heat waves in the south, flooding across the plains, forest fires in south west, tidal waves, tsunamis, volcanoes erupting, flooding in coastal areas, earthquakes, landslides, severe weather, dust storms, and countless other natural disasters in addition to social unrest, economic disaster, chaos and general lawlessness brought on by desperation. All this will be happening at the same time and last much longer. It will not be a short period of trauma. The entire period will be defined by trauma. What will we do? Where will we turn? Where will we run? There will not seem to be anywhere we could go, anything to do or anyone we could turn to.
Job experienced trauma. Job was caught in the middle of a cosmic dual between God and Satan. Satan accused mankind of revering God only because of God’s blessings. He said that if God removed His hand of blessing, mankind would surely accuse God of wrong. God told Satan he never considered His servant Job. Satan was given permission to afflict the man, but not harm him. Later he was given permission to harm the man as long as he did not kill him. All the while, Job had experienced loss and grief, his friends and even his wife accused him of wrong doing and he was afflicted. He thought the end for him had come. After he heard the news of each servant coming to report the tragedies as they unfolded, one after another, after another, Job tore his clothes; which is a sign of anguish. He shaved his head; which is a sign of mourning. Then, he fell to the ground and waited to die. But, in the midst of this, we see something very unusual; Job worshipped. He did not blame God. He did not doubt or accuse God. He was simply ready to die with everyone else. Everything else had been taken from him, but his faith.
What about us? When we go through the turmoil of life, do we keep our faith? Or, do we blame, accuse and curse everything and everyone around us? When the chaos of life hits, how do you respond?



1. buttermilk80 - December 15, 2010

Every man has concerned himself with “end times” thinking. When I went through my own analysis of the information I could lay my hands on I came away with a conclusion:

The end times will appear for me at the end of my last breath. If it comes before then, I stand ready in Christ Jesus.

By His Grace.

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