Are they overwhelming the system?
Any of you sense that life is throwing a few challenges your way? It’s one thing to deal with a dead car battery or leaky water heater, but it’s another thing to handle the onslaught of issues that have come our way, accumulating over time and increasing rapidly in recent months. The temporal issues (e.g., car battery and water heater) can be resolved with a little bit of time, some effort, and usually a reasonable amount of money. The others, which we will be discussing, aren’t that easy to resolve.
Occasionally, something will come along that is so huge, it makes life very difficult. Other times, nothing you’re dealing with is the end of the world, but the sheer volume of issues is more than you can handle. It seems like we are currently experiencing the worst of both worlds. Not only are some of the issues huge, but the number of issues is bringing us to our whit’s end.
This article could very quickly and easily get political, but my focus will be from another angle.
Consider this non-exhaustive list of issues we are currently facing (in no particular order):
Many times, when I had my own computer programming business and even now in full-time ministry, I found myself staring up at the ceiling, thinking of all the things I need to get done. “I have to do this today, and definitely that. And this other thing, and that, and that. Oh yeah, I almost forgot about this new thing! And I never did that one thing yesterday I promised to do, so I’d better do that today!” And on and on it goes. I often felt like the entire day went by, and all I did was think about all I had to do but didn’t actually do any of it!
It can be similar to all the issues I listed earlier. It can completely wear you out just thinking about them before you’ve even lifted a finger to take action in response to any of them!
And then there’s another question. Do you really know the truth behind any of these issues? Most likely, at least for a few of them, you would say, “Yes.” For the others, you would probably say, “No.” Even those for which you feel you know the truth, what should be your response when confronted with those issues?
One very common response from Christians to these numerous and ubiquitous issues is the classic “deer in the headlights” look. In addition to this, we can easily feel completely disheartened, helpless and hopeless.
We can, and should, have rational responses to each of these issues, but we should not expect our “brilliance” to change anyone’s mind. As I think through various issues, using God-given discernment, I see internally contradictory components in many of them. One example has to do with transgenderism. I’ve shared a few things regarding this issue before, but here’s an additional thought that just occurred to me a few days ago. I heard about a comedian whose opening line to his audience was, “Men and women are different.” It was obviously a lead into him making a humorous point about certain things men or women do, and in the past, the audience would probably be rolling in the aisles. Not this time. Before he could even get the next line out, the audience erupted rudely with boos and jeers. All that over a casual statement that men and women are different. Let’s think about this logically (something that today is largely a lost art.) If men and women are NOT different, that means they are the same. If they are the same, how can a man identify as a woman? If, however, someone can actually identify as the opposite sex, then they must be different. You can’t have it both ways!
I’ve shared this with a few Christian friends recently and they thought it was great. We may deem it very clever, but it doesn’t seem to faze the entrenched skeptic. They will never say, “Wow, I never thought of that. Maybe I am wrong. I should probably go to church and worship Jesus!”
The Bible tells us that the unsaved are spiritually blind:
Reason alone will not convert the skeptic because their reasoning has been darkened (Romans 1:21-22). What we are dealing with is a spiritual issue and cannot be solved any other way than through Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit.
So, how do we solve all of the issues I mentioned at the beginning of this article? We don’t! Even if we could truly solve one (whatever that would mean), there will be two more to take its place! (“Jay, you should be a motivational speaker! This is so encouraging… NOT!”)
Yes, that is sad, even depressing news. However, there is good news, too, and it greatly overpowers the bad news!
Have you ever noticed that God is never surprised by anything? He never panics, either! Here are a few very encouraging verses (many, many others could be offered):
You know what? I never defined “they” in our question (“Are they overwhelming the System?”). This point is where it could turn political. Thankfully, I’m already at the end of the article and don’t have room to share my personal views. (I get in a lot less trouble that way, too!)
There are two levels of “they.” The first level would be human and most often is intertwined with politics. It’s a very real level, but I do not believe for one second that every single person on the opposition side (however you wish to define that) gets together and schemes nefariously behind the scenes. The second level is much more pertinent to our struggle, and that is on a spiritual level. The ultimate evil puppet master (Satan), working his magic to insidiously manipulate and influence those who are already spiritually blinded. Our true battle lies at the spiritual level, and we dare not engage without much prayer.
My closing advice? Consider the lengthy list of issues and pray about which one (or ones) God wants you to focus on, and don’t worry about the rest! Yes, have a general acquaintance with each of them, but focus your prayer, time, and energy wherever God leads. Our goal isn’t to change the world (I’ve read the end of the book and it doesn’t go that direction); it’s to evangelize and make disciples. As I’ve mentioned before, the worse things get around us, the more people will be searching for true hope. And we have it, in Jesus Christ! Amen!