The past week was quite interesting. What seemed to be unique about it, though, was that almost everything that was in the news started with the letter "O."
The O.J. Simpson trial finally drew to a close after dominating the news for nine months. The jury acquitted him. Was he guilty? Many people think so and are angry that he seemingly got away with committing a terrible crime. Others think justice was served. I have my opinion but I will not share it for this is not the proper medium and that is not my point.
Because of this trial, I now fully understand why judgment belongs to God. No one will escape His righteous judgment (Romans 2:2-3; 14:10). God, who knows all things, will judge according to the things done in the body whether good or evil (2 Cor. 5:10). With God, there is no "reasonable doubt." The most skillful lawyers who have ever lived will not be able to get one guilty sinner acquitted. That is why it is so important that the sinner acknowledge his guilt and give obedience to Christ and His gospel so that he might stand justified before God in that final day when He will judge the world and execute sentence upon the guilty.
Even obscuring the events surrounding O.J. was this category three hurricane that hit with deadly force just a few miles to the west of Tallahassee, Florida, where I live. Having lived through Hurricane Camille in 1969, when meteorologists started comparing Opal to it, I relived the memories of the devastation it had wreaked on Biloxi, our home at the time. Thankfully, Opal weakened some before making landfall and its eye missed us.
Whenever I think of the powerful winds and waves of a hurricane, I think of the even greater power of my Savior who can still the mighty storm by merely speaking -- the winds and waves obeying His voice (Matt. 8:27). If we but put our faith and trust in Him, no matter what we suffer in this life -- hurricane, illness, financial loss, etc. -- we can say "It is well with our souls." Therefore, as obedient servants of Christ, we need not fear what man or nature can do to us.
While not on as large a scale as the other two things mentioned here, the power outage we had in Tallahassee Thursday evening left about 40,000 homes without electrical power for several hours. I was teaching a class when it hit. I grumbled, waited for it to come back on, and then finally proceeded with flashlight and emergency lamps providing light.
When the power first went off, the building was very dark. The emergency lighting was not working in the auditorium so it was pitch black. The fourteen or so of us there could not see one another at all. I kept thinking "how dark this building is when there is no light." Then it hit me, "How dark this church would be if we strayed from the light of the truth." and if Jesus removed our "candlestick" as He threatened to do to the church in Ephesus who had lost their love for Him (Rev. 2:5). Yes, how I wished the lights would come back on Thursday night so we could continue our classes with some reasonable semblance of order (We continued anyway). But how I prayed that the Lord would allow the candlestick to remain with us and that we would still be a light to the world around us (Matt. 5:14-16). That will only happen if we continue to stand boldly and determinedly for the Truth of the Gospel.
I really don't know if there is much of a conclusion to this article other than "O! What a week!" In reality, this week is kind of a mirror of life. Every week we live has good and bad things happen. Thankfully, not every week has a hurricane for us but then, again, not every week has a baptism or the birth of a baby for us either. Let us be thankful to God for the good and let us trust Him to see us through the bad knowing that in spite of adversity He is always there with us and for us. Let us determine to always "be there" with Him and for Him by living each week, each day, obediently to His will.