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If you live in Yemen, Syria, or fire ravaged California, the Tribulation is now. If you are sold into slavery in Libya as a black man, what could be worse. If you are an infant in Indonesia used for sex by an adult male and tossed into a ditch afterwards to die, this is not the promised land. If you live in China and are forced to marry someone you do not care for because children are supposed to obey their parents, you just might be one of the 500,000 rural Chinese women each year who commit suicide by drinking fertilizer.
Perhaps you are a Venezuelan whose Communist nation threw money into a sinkhole and now you are scrounging through the garbage dump for a piece of rotten bread. You might live in Germany and be one of the blue-eyed, blonde white women raped by Muslim immigrants. Angela Merkel lost her post because of her open door policy, but you are still traumatized, and perhaps pregnant. Or you live in Central America and some guy in the USA gave you money to travel to the US border where he guaranteed you that the Democrats would let you in – but there are armed guards there? Where will you go?
Maybe you are the unlucky girl friend whose fiance Maniskumar slipped her poison to kill off her unborn child? Maybe he thought the Republicans would not be funding abortions anymore. Maybe he thought the Democrats were too weak in Washington to keep abortion funding in the budget? Maybe if you are pregnant you should think twice about this man you want to marry? This sounds like tribulation to me.
Perhaps you live on the coast of North Carolina where 8 trillion gallons of water was dumped in one hurricane, ruining the crops, killing the swine and sweet potatoes and making life and a future impossible for decades to come. Or you could live on the street in the Philippines; 1.2 million kids plus mom and dad and 2 or 3 other children. Fortunately it is the tropics so it never gets cold – just wet.
Perhaps you’d prefer Nigeria where one Sunday the Boko Haram may find the Christians in church, lock the doors from the outside and set the church on fire. Eight of the ten largest nations persecute Christians … death, imprisonment, denial of jury trails, or any trial at all, separation from children and economic deprivation. In Michigan as a female you may suffer genital mutilation which can led to life long disease and pain. It’s child abuse of the worst kind, and, as usual, females are the victims.
From my comfy perch in the mountains of North Carolina I can blandly believe that I am living in a sane and protected world. I am not. All around me there is tribulation for my peers in the Christians faith. Yes, we are facing the end; it is now, and it is creeping towards us day by day.
Years ago I heard this true story and go back to it many times because it shows that God has a sense of humor even in the worst times. Remember He is not caught off guard by any situation we get into.
The pastor at Almighty God Assemblies of God Church was working late on Sunday night at the office and decided to call home to tell is wife he was on his way soon. But the phone rang repeatedly with no answer. Thinking she must be in the shower he just closed the office and left. When he got home his wife said she’d heard no ring from him and they forgot about it.
Monday morning at the crack of dawn there was a man on the steps of the church with this story to tell. He had been in his apartment with a gun on his lap planning suicide Sunday night.
As a final ditch attempt he said, “God, if you are really there, let me know and I won’t go through with this.”
Then the phone rang. He looked at the Caller ID – It said Almighty God.
Frozen with fear the man stayed awake all night. Then he checked on the church address and ended up at the pastor’s office to hear a word of hope.
There are several things about this story that stand out. First, God is able to mess up phone lines when He needs to. We don’t consider how God can get around man’s opinions, his technology, his people, his church, his nations, even the bad ones. The Bible repeatedly says, He is Able. We allow our doctrines to hamper what He can do or will do.
Second, the man had to respond. He could have looked at the Caller ID and thought, well, a phone call doesn’t count. Sometimes our negativity is so thick we are unable to respond when we have the chance. It clouds our mind. This man realized something otherworldly had happened.
Third, and this is perhaps the most important lesson, I cannot prove it but somewhere, someone had prayed for this man. Perhaps a family member, a coworker, even a person on a bus might have seen this man and thought, “He looks depressed and hopeless. He needs God.”
So, add a person you don’t know to your prayer list – the cashier at the Food Lion, the person in the next cubicle that you do not know, or the guy who is panhandling with a sign, “Will work for food.” It doesn’t matter that he probably needs drugs too. Your job as a believer is prayer. That is a Christmas present you can give anyone.
With prayer you can be ‘Almighty God’ in your town too.