Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oh Harold (shakes head)

I remember the first time my grandma told me about "the rapture". I was 6 years old or so. She talked about it as any good ol' southern Baptist would. She explained how Jesus would return and take every living Christian to heaven. In the process, she said, unmanned cars would careen into homes and pedestrians, planes would collide with suburbs and skyscrapers. Ok, maybe thoes weren't her exact words, but they may as well have been.. I layed in bed, staring at the ceiling, my heart thumping..

I didn't attend church, and hadn't said the sinners prayer... but I did that night. Mainly because I was scared sick to think that I'd be left in an apocalyptic America run by the anti-Christ and his minions.

But years went by. My love for God never developed. I actaully HATED going to church with the grandparents. In the same way a child will fake illness' to skip school, I did the same with church. I remember telling grandma and papaw that the pews gave me debilitating back pain. They were wood.

And then at the age of 15 years old I was asked by a friend to attend a Christian concert. I reluctantly agreed. I hadn't stepped in church since my grandparents quit hounding me, and I wasn't in a rush to get back. But since this was a friend I decided to suck it up.

I was surprised when I actually enjoyed the concert. And then about midway through, the band leader stops and recites a passage- Matthew 7:22-24 "(A)Many will say to Me on (B)that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'23"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; (C)DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

My heart started to pound out of my chest. The leader went on to talk about judgement day, and how many will be turned because "they never knew Him". I could feel my body trying trembling, and I began to shift to find a comfortable position. I glanced around "what is going on?" I asked myself hoping to see signs that others are having the same emotional delima..But there was none. Finally the leader asked that everyone bow their heads, and asked that they repeat the sinners prayer if they felt God was leading them. So I did.

So yes, at the age of 15 I asked God to come into my heart out of fear, not at all unlike the time I did at the age of 6. But, at 15, I found Jesus through the imperfections of my motivations. I found the scriptures, and fell in love with God's heart. At I never have looked back.

So with all of the talk about rapture lately, and the continual badgering of the elderly man, Harold Camping, who is making these claims( I know I have made a few jabs), I couldn't help but wonder about every family that has been effected. How sobering is it when we consider all of the finances that have been poured into this 'ministry'..All of the lives ruined.. All of the people who, yes, out of fear made a committment to God hoping to escape Hell

And then God reminded me of my own salvation story. So I am believing that there are people out there who saw Harold's outrageous predictions and decided "I better get myself right!" And are now on a journey that they may not have started otherwise.

I saw the newest prediction from Harold Camping this morning that on October 21st the world would end. I had to bite my tounge-thoughts. (Yes, I said tounge-thoughts)... And pray for Harold and the emotional stress he must be undergoing ... And then I am reminded to trust.

I think Shaun Groves said it best in his blog "I trust that the death and resurrection of Jesus appeased a God who hates sin and turned away his wrath. I trust that He keeps His promises – that He will never leave me in this life or the next. I trust that life beside Him anywhere is better than life at a distance down here. I trust that He knows history because He is its Author. And I trust He'll forgive Harold Camping for getting it wrong on October 21st, and forgive me for not always wishing the Harolds of this world were right when they predicted a rapture."


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