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FIRST-PERSON: Puzzling times


EL CAJON, Calif. (BP)–Is the world spinning out of control? No, but events are causing us to stop and think.

Whatever idealism America still possessed was stripped from us on Sept. 11, 2001. Our nation became a blood-soaked battlefield. America is not a perfect land, but it was a rude awakening to discover that the “land of the free and the home of the brave” was the object of hatred by some in our world. Since the third week of March, 2002, our nation has been at war, reckoning with the realities of the post-9/11 world in which we now live.

But war is not the only thing on our minds when we go to bed at night — it’s the thought of WMD (“Weapons of Mass Destruction”). It used to be that most of our acronyms were things we enjoyed — like NCAA (college sports) or NFL (professional football). But now we use acronyms to abbreviate things we can die from: AIDS, SARS, and WMDs.

We thought plagues were something from the days of Moses in Egypt or the Middle Ages in Europe. But now we learn that smallpox and anthrax are viable threats in the 21st century. Water supplies, food supplies, air supplies — the very staffs of life — can now become carriers of death. And now we learn that a “dirty bomb” is not a bomb that needs cleaning. It’s a briefcase-sized device with a radioactive payload which, when exploded, can rain death over a good-sized city.

In your wildest imagination a decade ago (even three years ago), did you think your local early morning news show would ever give you something called the Homeland Security terrorist threat condition for the day? We already have to monitor the pollen index, the ozone level, the comfort index and the temperature and humidity — not to mention the local freeway traffic snarls. Now we have to remember what Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange and Red terrorist threat conditions mean.

And don’t look now (I’m sure you already have) but in case you were planning on taking your savings and moving to the mountains to escape the growing chaos … well, your savings may not be where you last saw them. You may be one of many who have been living on their savings because they’re out of work. Or one of many others whose savings devolved into something that would fit in a piggy-bank because of the greed and mismanagement of corporate officers and accountants. What many people spent their professional careers accumulating through hard work and disciplined saving turned out to be almost worthless.

Is this really our world, or a bad dream we’re living in? Did we somehow get on a fantasy theme park ride that shows us just how dangerous life might become someday “in a universe far, far away?”

Unfortunately, no. This scary, unpredictable, and dangerous world is ours — the peaceful green and blue ball floating in outer space, framed by gossamer white clouds that make it appear to be an angel’s play-thing. This is our world.

What in the world is going on? While that is a question we often have to wait until the end of the day to answer, there is a question we can answer first thing every morning: Who in the world is going on? And the answer is, “Our God.”

Though we live in puzzling times, life does not have to be a puzzle to the person who knows God. The Savior who told His original disciples, “My peace I give to you…. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,” says the same thing to us today.

There is nothing happening in our world today that the Word of God has not already addressed. The careful student of biblical prophecy will come away from the sacred text with most of the pieces of today’s puzzle, and if he knows Jesus Christ personally, the peace of the puzzle as well.
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David Jeremiah is the founder of Turning Point for God, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif., and chancellor of San Diego Christian College (formerly Christian Heritage College). For more information on Turning Point, visit www.TurningPointOnline.org.

    About the Author

  • David Jeremiah
    David Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif. For more information on Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.Read All by David Jeremiah ›