Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Water is Rising

I'm afraid I'm lacking the usual levity today...

This has been weighing on my conscience for some time. It's the things on Facebook I see, images, posts, shares that all say the same thing: “You just shut up now, we don't want to hear it.” It's bothered me, really, deep down inside. For the most part I've complied, keep my references fairly personal, letting things out in controlled fashions. I've still felt that nagging inside.

Last night, a dream came to me. I was in a town near a river. I was given a clear task to do. I was told that a flash flood would soon arrive, and that I was to go out to those near the river and let them know it was coming. There were many residents out on the river that day. In my dream some were in boats, other on the river side. It all seemed carefree, but I had to continue with my message. Throughout this dream, that was tantamount. I passed a large trestle-like structure. I called out to a couple amongst the rocks, and some young men below. I told them the flash flood was coming and they should leave the area right away. The couple ignored me. The young men laughed and told me nothing was wrong with the river.

I turned to walk back, doubting my own message. Could it be wrong? Even as I felt the doubts stir, I looked down. The river's edge was higher now, and I could clearly see it climbing. I turned back to the people on the rocks. The couple still ignored me. The young men turned concerned. They could see what I was seeing. Before I woke, I called out to them again, urging them to climb the trestle structure to get to high ground as soon as possible.

The dream stuck with me as I awoke. It brought to my mind the passage of Ezekiel 33:1-9, where God appoints Ezekiel as watchman. Ezekiel is told God has a message for Ezekiel, and it is Ezekiel's task to declare this message. What the listeners do with this message is less Ezekiel's worry than the delivering of this message. If the watchman does not sound the alarm, then those that fall are on his head; if the watchman sounds the alarm, those that fail to take heed are responsible for themselves. Whatever happens to those who hear the message, whether they are saved or fall, that depends on themselves as long as the messenger does his task. What is this message? God goes on to deliver a message of grace, that the exiled Judeans can still return to Him. The apostle Paul takes this role to heart, and notes he has no regrets, as he has delivered that Message faithfully, even as he is sentenced to die.

What is the message? That we are separated from God, in darkness. That God came to us as His Son Jesus, to live amongst us, die for us, and to rise again that we might be reconciled with God and that we might know He has defeated death. That Christ is alive, risen by His great power, and that we can have a relationship with God because of Him. Praise Him!

I can't keep silent about this. I have an obligation, a command, and a desire to let this be known. This is bursting out, I can't keep it down just because it is undesired. We have little time to act. In the span of the universe, our various lifetimes are terribly brief, and our lives are over in a blink of an eye. Should I blink and find an opportunity lost? Should I blink and remain silent? We may not want to hear the Message, but it is there. I need to speak out. I need to act as a messenger. Whether any will listen or not, I can't say. I can't and won't force any to do anything. But I can choose whether to speak or remain silent.

The water is rising.