Well, I’m back! In two weeks the world sure threw a lot of curve balls our way, didn’t it? Things just keep changing and shifting and making Christian people wring their hands. We look at each other and shake our heads, wondering where we go from here, and what this new world is going to look like by the time our own children are having babies.
We’re tempted to fear for the future of Christianity. We wonder how this faith will survive a culture that is more and more fed up with it. We feel like Christianity is resting precariously on a high ledge, and we whisper about strategies while we white knuckle this thing, trying to sit as still as possible so as not to send it careening over the edge into a dark pit of irrelevance, or worse, extinction.
Last week we got the kids out of their beds at 5:30 in the morning and walked their sleepy, pj-clad little bodies out to the minivan. It was day one of our much-anticipated vacation, and even though I had hopes that they would fall right back to sleep once they were in the car, they were just too excited to rest. We were heading for the airport, and that fact alone made sleep just about impossible. About an hour into our drive, we found ourselves on a highway with a bunch of people who seemed to be in a big hurry. The little two lane road was jammed with drivers zooming past at every opportunity, dangerously passing on the curves and hills that should have been carefully navigated.
Soon, a little white car sped past us at the bottom of a big hill, but instead of getting back on the right side of the road once he had cleared our van, he kept going, passing the two trucks ahead of us, until he was feet from topping the hill on the wrong side of the road. Everyone watching this reckless driver suddenly slammed on their brakes, trying to get out of the way of the head-on collision that seemed imminent. The trucks ahead of us were driving into the grassy ditch in order to avoid hitting each other.
As Chad hit his brakes, the truck in front of us was right in our path, and all he could do was head for the ditch as well. But, instead of a harmless patch of grass, we went straight toward a concrete culvert. Chad put all of his strength into pushing on that brake pedal, and somehow, just before our van toppled over the concrete, we stopped.
I kept saying, We’re okay. We’re okay. We’re okay. I think it was an utterance of disbelief as we sat there suspended, looking down into the place where our car should’ve landed on its top. God stopped the car. We didn’t fall in.
We got the kids out of the car as quickly as we could, while kind and competent heroes stopped to help us, all on their way to someplace else, but stopping instead to somehow produce chains and know-how, pulling a worn old van out of its hazardous position. Just so three kids in pjs could continue on their way with their badly shaken parents.
This story could’ve ended in a completely different way. I could’ve come back here today and told you the tragic tale of how one of more of our children died in that accident. Someone else could’ve come on here to announce to you that none of us had survived, that this day, last week, was our last day, and that we had gone to be with Jesus.
But, instead, this incident is just a little blip on the radar of our vacation. We went from facing what looked like certain death to happily boarding an airplane with all of our little family in tow. Why? Because God willed it. He is always fully in control, and He is never, ever surprised.
So, if you have been fretting about the decisions that are being made in the US and the world, if you have felt this week like Christianity is hanging over the edge, about to fall, just keep in mind that Jesus promised us that not the even the gates of hell will prevail against the church. And, while He holds the church firmly in His hand, He is also sending us helpers, like good country boys with chains in the back of the their pickups right when you need them. He is always raising up leaders for their perfect time.
It may seem like Christianity is hanging by a thread, but I believe this is going to be one of our finest hours. Just watch the church thrive in the days to come.
We will make it to our destination, dear Christians. Glorify Him, trust Him, and watch Him work His miraculous rescue plan.