By Charlie Norman
Special to the Reporter
Today we find ourselves in the midst of an international health and financial crisis, the likes we’ve never seen or experienced before. We all wonder when this coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) will end... and HOW it’s all going to turn out. As President Trump said weeks ago, “We are at war with an invisible enemy.”
I feel we are also engaged in a SPIRITUAL battle --- against the principalities, powers and rulers of the darkness and wickedness of our time. The Good Book speaks of this enemy as an unseen adversary --- with rampant destruction readily apparent through the death, disease, and hunger all around us. It’s not only in the physical realm that we see these things manifested, but all in things --- bitter political feuding, heightened racial division, strained family relations, the sense of hopelessness in people’s lives.
This ongoing battle for the eternal souls of all people is everywhere, and has been since the beginning. Most folks don’t think this way, and I certainly don’t claim to understand it all. But when I became a true believer in Jesus Christ by opening my heart to Him some 50 years ago, my eyes were opened to spiritual things in a way I’d never imagined. Goals, priorities, perspectives, purpose --- all began to change for me and for the good.
Not even close to being “perfect” in thoughts, words, and deeds, at least I knew I was headed in a different, right direction. Today, I look around the world, and I sense an unspoken fear and uncertainty in the solemn faces. I understand that and am not immune to real concern for my own family, my country, and our world. Though I too have my anxieties, and I do not know WHAT the future hold, I do know WHO holds the future.
Because of Him, I have HOPE. Obviously there are many that choose to believe otherwise --- “whatever happens happens.” They might believe that the world always existed, or in the theory of Evolution, or that we are masters of our own fate and destiny... accountable only to ourselves.
I get it. I used to think that way a little myself. But after confessing my sins to the Good Lord and asking Him to take control of my life, it’s then that He began a change in me. That’s what He does --- changes lives.
As I came to know people who’d also had a similar spiritual experience and transformation, I found it easy to continue to grow in my faith and trust in my Creator.... my Maker, the Giver of Life itself. As I became more knowledgeable in the things of nature and the magnificence of the universe in which we live, I found it increasingly more difficult to believe all this could have happened by chance.
Just look around --- the night-time stars all aglitter, the oceans teeming with fishes and creatures unfathomable, the majestic birds of the air with their vivid varied colors and their songs to brighten one’s day.
Who could even imagine?? And then there’s life itself. How could it all come to be? Like when, at the just right moment, a tiny living being, encased in embryonic fluid for nine months in its mother’s womb, comes forth in a precious matter of seconds, and becomes a breathing, independent little soul full of a life to be lived.
As my doctor recently said to me about the birthing process “it really is a miracle.” And to think this little child will have its own unique DNA, fingerprint, and personality. How marvelous! How wonderful! Of all the BILLIONS of people who’ve ever inhabited the earth, nobody else will be just like this little one. Or YOU.
Ponder the deeper emotions/ways of physical attraction, parental love, caring, crying, sympathy, empathy, intimacy, the joy we all embrace as humans. It just comes naturally. Supernaturally? I realize there are those that feel much differently about all this. That’s OK. I don’t judge them. I actually feel a little sorry for them.
My mother once told me “He who has an experience is not at the mercy of those who merely have an argument.” Well, I had an experience long ago when I prayed, and “placed my hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the waters.” That humble prayer was a life-changer.
I once heard about the atheist who confronted the Christian with the age-old question of how a so-called “loving” God could allow such bad things (war, sickness, famine, etc.) to happen in this world? (The biblical account of a fallen world found in Genesis 3 would be a start). Pressing the believer, the atheist probed, “How do you explain that?” The Christian responded, “That’s a tough question, and I probably can’t explain it as clearly as I’d like or as the Bible teaches. But first, I have a question for you.” “What’s that?” “Explain everything else.”
Charlie Norman has lived in Somervell County since 1994. He and his wife have two adult children, who graduated from Glen Rose schools. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.