Friday, July 13, 2007

Vacation (part 1)

The God who made the world and everything in it — He is Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in shrines made by hands. Neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives everyone life and breath and all things. From one man He has made every nation of men to live all over the earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live, so that they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.
Acts 17:24-27 (HCSB)

I have been thinking about this passage this morning because I have just returned from a week in the Caribbean with my wife. As we visited various places this past week I continually found myself thinking how truly blessed I am to live in the United States. We live in the most prosperous country in the world, we have freedom that most of the world can only dream about. But as I thought about the poverty and poor living conditions I was witnessing in the places that we visited I kept coming back to these verses; this passages teaches us that God - who is Lord of heaven and earth - has created every man. He determined the times in which we would live, and He has determined our boundaries. In other words, it is God who decides where and when we live upon His earth.

Why does He do this? The passage goes on to say that He does this so that we might seek Him, reach out to Him, and find Him. So what this verse is telling us is that those of us who have been so blessed by God to live in this great country were placed here at this time in history so that we would reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. God placed me in the United States at this time in history, because in His sovereign wisdom He determined that this would give me the best opportunity to find Him. In Psalm 139 we read:

For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mothers womb... Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began. Psalm 139:13, 16 (HCSB)

I am here today because God put me here, and He put me here on this day for one reason and one reason only - so that I would reach out and find Him.

In the past week I saw the beauty of God's creation, but I also witnessed unimaginable poverty. One afternoon as I reflected on what God was showing me I took out my journal and wrote:

"This is such a poor country, I don't see any evidence of a middle class here at all. Every where I look there are poor people who are living in conditions that we in America can't even imagine. We Americans have been so blessed by God, We need to stop taking that for granted and thank God for what He has given us. Then we need to repent and, as a nation seek God again, because this can all be taken away."

I don't understand why we have been so blessed of God and why in other places in the world people are living in abject poverty. But I do know that the Bible tells me that God is sovereign and that He knows where and when each of us will live, and that in His wisdom He has determined this to give each of us the best opportunity to find Him.

This does not, however, let us off the hook. It could be that God has blessed us so that through our giving His love will be shown to those who do not have what we do and that they will find Him through our generosity. So take some time today to pray about what God may want you to do to help alleviate the suffering of the poor around the world, and then do it.
Print This Post

No comments: