For the past several weeks, the flood of media coverage had almost everyone talking about the predicted rapture. All around the world people were preparing for it or laughing about it. Maybe because they didn't want to be left out, just in case, all types of news services had some sort of coverage of the prediction and/or the man making the prediction. I was not suprised by the hype; I was taken back by how many times I read or heard comments like, "I'll still be here," or "I won't be taken." I have to admit that I, just like most, laughed at the jokes about the predicted rapture, but I just can't laugh about someone proudly proclaiming that they won't be included in the rapture when it does happen. I am a Christian. I am not pushy, preachy, perfect. Unfortunately, I don't speak up enough about me beliefs, and I am far, far from perfect. But I know that I am forgiven for all of my imperfections and shortcomings.
When I was still very young, I found myself married, expecting a baby, and living far from my family. We moved mid-pregnancy and had to change doctors. But everything seemed to be going smoothly. Once labor started, things started to go wrong. Several trips to the hospital and doctor's office, the regular doctor unavailable, arguments about "real" contractions, and after several days I found myself in the hospital in severe pain and hearing the words, "There is no heartbeat." I got so much support from friends, old and new, and family. Cards, calls, and visits. But I was shocked by one comment, "This is not of God." Was it terrible? Yes. Was I devastated? Yes. But how could it not be of God? As young as I was, I knew that even this, this horrible event in my life, was of God. Everything, good and bad, in my life is of God. I did not, still do not, understand God's reason, but I knew then as I know now, God has a plan for each of us. I sometimes wonder if maybe I had moved away from Him and His plan for me, and He pruned the vine so that it would grow in the correct direction. Or was there a lesson for me there? Did I suffer? Do I still suffer? Yes. But in my suffering, my faith has grown. I have felt God's presence in my daily life. I have learned to listen for and watch for God's direction in my decision making. He does send us messages - our job is to listen and follow His word.
Jump ahead several years, a different husband, a new life. Lovey and I had been married for seven years and knew that we would not have children naturally. We had discussed options many times, and adoption repeatedly surfaced as the best choice. Yet we never made the big move. Finally, we got a call about two boys in foster care who would not be going back to their mother. It was this call that started the process of adoption for us. We attended training through DHS, including home studies and home visits. Oh, the paperwork, the questions! But again and again we answered, "God will send us the one(s) we are supposed to have." After only a few months, we moved our two boys, not the two from the phone call, into their new room. Did you get that? A story about two boys needing a home, and only months later we are parents to two boys. See God's hand in that? Two boys - one a dedicated momma's boy, the other couldn't look more like me if he had my DNA.
Has our parenting experience been perfect? No. Are there things I wish I had done differently? Of course. Would I ever change the fact that these two boys (now men) are mine? Absolutely not! Several years ago, we spent spring break in Dallas with my brother. While there we visited Six Flags. It was a chilly, drizzly day, but that did not dampen the fun. But at some point in the day, Baby Jus wanted to do something (I can't even remember what) that I refused to let him do. He was mad. Not just pouty - mad! There are pictures somewhere of the two of us sitting on a bench with him mad all over and me laughing. In each picture he moved a little further away from me. I would scoonch over, and he would slide further away. I was laughing, but it did hurt that he didn't want me close to him. Can parenting teach us anything about God's love? Does He hurt when we move away from Him? Does He scoonch closer, only to feel us pull away because we don't get our way about something? It breaks my heart to think of the times I have felt myself pull away from God, like a child, mad at Him because I didn't get my way. But God's love for me didn't change; He loves me no matter how many times I fail Him.
Jump forward a few more years, to the present. My relationship with that same child is still strained. Never easy. I can't force him to do things. I can't make decisions for him. I have to allow him to make his own choices, learn from his mistakes and successes. As much as I want to demand he do as I say, as much as I want to stop him from making the wrong choices, I can't. If he lived the life I wanted only because I forced him to do so, would I feel any success as a parent in that? I want him to choose that life. I have to wait for him to come to that decision on his own. And again, there is a lesson about God's plan for us. He gives us the option to choose Him. He wants us to choose Him. And He waits patiently for us to make that decision.
I read something today about the man who made the rapture prediction. He now says that there was a miscalculation - the spiritual rapture has happened, we have been judged, and the physical rapture will occur in October. I read another remark that God will forgive this man for his sins. I have heard so many say things about this man not knowing God's word and not being a Christian. We don't know. It is not our call. That is for God to decide. Has any good come of the hype? People were talking about the Rapture. People were talking about God and His word. People turned to Scripture for answers. And hopefully, people like me, people who don't always discuss God's role in their lives, have or will speak out. Hopefully, people everywhere are praying for those who commented, "I'll still be here" or "I won't be taken." If you are one of those people, I am praying for you. Praying that God will reveal Himself to you at a time that you are ready to accept Him. If you have questions about God's plan for salvation, contact me. I will glady tell you more about God's work in my life.
How is God working in your life? Share, someone is listening.