Tuesday, June 11, 2019

No Place to Hide, but We Don't Need To Hide

  How many of us have dreamt of escaping to a place where the cares and troubles of our day cannot touch us?  The more I see and read about our world in turmoil, l find myself daydreaming more often of such a refuge. My childhood and adulthood has been filled with war. I was born just after World War 2 and have lived through Korea, Vietnam, and the endless Gulf wars. What family of this world has not been touched by war and violence?  One man during the American Civil War tried to find such a place.

Wilmer McLean was an American farmer from Virginia. His house near Manassas, Virginia, was involved in the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861.  The initial engagement on July 21, 1861, which would become known as the First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas), took place on McLean's farm. A Union Army artillery battery fired at McLean's house which was being used as a headquarters for Confederate Brigadier General Beauregard, and the cannonball dropped through the kitchen fireplace. Hoping to escape the war Mr. McLean and his family moved about 120 miles south to Appomattox County, Virginia, near a dusty, crossroads community called Appomattox Court House.

On April 9, 1865, the war again revisited Wilmer McLean. Robert E. Lee was about to surrender to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant. He sent a messenger to Appomattox Court House to find a place to meet. On April 8, 1865, the messenger knocked on McLean's door and requested the use of his home, to which McLean reluctantly agreed. Lee surrendered to Grant in the parlor of McLean's house, effectively ending the Civil War. Later, McLean is supposed to have said "The war began in my front yard and ended in my front parlor."

Try as he would Wilmer McLean could not outrun the war.  And as much as we Christians would love to have God tuck us away from the World's problems, it is not His plan for us.  Jesus prayed for His Disciples just before his arrest with these words, "I do not pray that you take them out of the World, but you keep them from the evil one."  John 17:15 
 As frightening as these times are becoming, our Lord's plan for His people is not to run and hide, nor to beg God to rescue us. We are to be brave and trust that even if the World seems out of control, God is still in control.
Mark 13:7 reminds us, " When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, be not terrified, for such things must happen."
  My job and your job is to make an impact in this World for Christ. Don't run, don't hide, use the time, talents, and influence you have to and make a difference for the Kingdom of God. Yes, we will have troubles, Jesus already told us that, "In this World you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the World." John 16:33

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