On This Timeline, In This World

Well, I’m signing off for Thanksgiving. I take the time to say it because the blog isn’t some outlet to the world; it’s a way of reporting back to the family and friends I love (I typically refer to my other family and friends as simply “family and friends,” because they don’t read these).

We’re headed down to North Carolina to spend the week with our friends Nick and Brenna–since this is a blog, I’ll mention that you can read Nick’s blog here. Nick’s the best writer/blogger I personally know (mom: please note that I say “writer/blogger,” so I’m considering your textbooks a different category all together).

I go with Jonah 3:1-5 in mind:

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.”

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You’ve probably seen this map a lot lately. These days, we typically see ISIS territory laid over the top of it, but as I read Jonah 3 this morning, I was reminded that the same map could show us where God Almighty has done miraculous things. Yes, ISIS occupies Mosul, but God has done the unimaginable just 30 minutes away in Nineveh. Yes, a plane was brought down over Egypt, but God’s people were also brought out in that very place. Yes, Lebanon suffered a terrible tragedy two weeks ago, but God also promises:

17  Is it not yet a very little while 
until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, 
and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest? 
18  In that day the deaf shall hear 
the words of a book, 
and out of their gloom and darkness 
the eyes of the blind shall see. 
19  The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, 
and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. 
20  For the ruthless shall come to nothing

-Isaiah 29:17-20a

Yes, God sees the Middle East. Though they’re not named in the Bible, God sees Paris too, and Myanmar, and Indianapolis and Minneapolis. I don’t see the way forward right now, but I know who does. We believe lofty promises, but God has exceeded our expectations, even exceeded his own promises before, on this timeline, in this world. “Be patient, establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”

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