I'm gonna cut this, because I have a LOT of random, slightly-connected thought bouncing around in my head, and I'm not sure I can put them in any sort of order.
It all started the other day when I was working on my goat wall-hanging. I started thinking about the goats and sheep story....I've had sheep in my kitchen for *years*, I want to be counted as a sheep...so why was I driven to make this goat hanging? I mean....yeah, I wanted a new decoration, but there are TONS of sheep patterns out there. I found something wrong with all of them - I saw this one (I've been half-heartedly looking for a goat quilt for a while now, ever since we got goats, but never found one until now) and HAD to have it. I didn't even stop to think - I had my paypal info keyed in so fast it isn't funny. The moment the pattern came in I started on it - which is rare for me....I usually wait a bit to find the *perfect* fabric. I mean, Driven is the only word I can come up with to describe what I was doing. (The same thing with the sewing - I HAD to get those shirts done...but now the urge is *gone*. I have fabric ready, I have patterns - but *poof*! No interest in sewing right now. Weird.
The news has been all about 9/11 and the Wildfires here. It makes me so MAD to hear people say things like "Well, it was God's will.." and "Well, it's all part of God's plan...." - I'm sorry. I can't say that. I mean.....(this is where it gets hard to put into words. Bear with me).
OK. God is in control of everything. I got that - I believe it. But He doesn't go around smiting people with no warning - remember Ninevah? Jonah tried to run away because he didn't think it was right to warn them of what was going to happen. He got swallowed by a whale and barfed up on the beach for it. Ninevah listened to him, repented, and the smiting was averted.
When my first husband was killed, a LOT of people told me it was God's will. I....no. God doesn't just kill people randomly. Now, He CAN use their deaths - He did in my case; my faith is MUCH stronger now, because He and I had a talk, and I made a conscious decision to Believe, in spite of everything that was going on. People telling me God had a plan, and it was His will that my children were left fatherless pissed me off - from everything I've read, that's NOT how it works. We live in a fallen world, and people suck. (And don't try to change my mind on this - I will NEVER believe that God wanted a mother to put her 2 month old preemie in the FRONT SEAT of her car, have an accident, and kill her child. The woman - who has OLDER children - claims that she didn't know it was against the law to put a car seat in the front seat, and she claims she didn't know her NEWISH car had airbags (this is a true story; it happened 2 years or so ago. I saw it on the news last night. Yes, He allowed it to happen - but I can't believe that He CAUSED it to happen. If you see the difference there.)
9/11? Happened. I do believe He allowed it to happen as a warning - or wake-up call - to the US. Same thing with Katrina (and with the upcoming Katia. If you honestly believe that it's going to suddenly swerve to miss the US, well.....you're a little more gullible than I am. CAN it swerve? Certainly. Will it? I really doubt it. The US is out of "get out of Smiting free" cards, IMHO.)
The wildfires. We were watching the devastation last night, and I remarked that the insurance companies were almost certain to pull the "Act of God" card on the homeowners. SG said "What? What's that?" (I can't believe he's never been bored enough to read the fine print of his insurance policy) I said "Well, EVERY policy I've ever had has had exclusions on it. For example, our Homeowner's policy has an exclusion for Nuclear Bombs - which is STUPID, because if my house is affected by a nuke, chances are I'm dead and won't be filing a claim, know what I mean? - and it has the standard "not covered by Acts of God exclusion." He looked funny, then said "So. If we get hit by a tornado, the insurance *could* refuse to pay because a tornado is considered an Act of God?" "Yup. So far, insurance companies haven't - to my knowledge - pulled that. However, in the case of the fires here? You're looking at over 1000 homes at Possum Kingdom Lake (I think - it's a LOT.) alone.....do you REALLY think the insurance companies will pay out THAT much money? I'm betting they'll either pull the AoG exclusion, or file bankruptcy. Just wait and see!"
Well, that conversation made him mad......because, in his words, tornadoes aren't Acts of God, they're "nature". I didn't argue - I knew what he meant. "Acts of God", in his mind, mean something that God does On Purpose (like the Flood, for example) and not......well, random acts of natural violence. (Again, yes, He could prevent it. However, we are a fallen world, and He certainly doesn't HAVE to act. If that makes sense - I KNOW what I'm trying to say, but I can't find the words.)
And another thought: I know that citizens are...judged, I guess is the word I'm looking for, by the actions of their leaders. Israel was punished when the King did something stupid (plagues, for example. The OT is full of stuff like that!). Believers were...there, but not AS affected as the ones that blindly followed the leader. I mean.....I'm trying to put my thoughts into words here........every American was affected by 9/11.....but some were much moreso than others - and I don't really *like* that example, because what I wrote sounds like I'm saying that if you're "in the God Club" you're...."in" and if you're not, you're going to get punished, and that's NOT what I mean. Believers WERE affected by 9/11.......forget it. I can't *say* what I want. :sigh:
Here's the deal - GOD didn't cause the wildfires. He allowed the drought to happen, which set things up for them, but He didn't decide to drop a cig out His heavenly car, if you see what I'm saying. Are they a warning? I think so - Israel is being attacked on all sides, and the UN is having a vote on whether or not they need to give land to the Palestinians (who were squatters before - Torah lays out the borders of Israel quite plainly, and is MUCH older than the Palestinian people. Just sayin' - I stand with Israel.)......I do believe all the disasters going on are warnings. IF our gov'ment votes against Israel (which are the rumbles I'm hearing, but I don't know if those are true or just rumors)...well, things will get bad here really, really quickly. I don't know how our gov'nor stands.....it could be that he stands against Israel, and the fires are for his benefit.......all I know is that THIS is important.
It's Elul, the traditional time of getting things right with God. We are being slammed left and right with natural disasters.....think there's a correlation? I do. Normally, this time of year I'm cleaning house, frantically! - trying to get things in order for RH...this year? We were pushed to clean BEFORE Elul....right now? I'm cleaning AT it, but it's......I have this feeling of futility. It's already been decided what WILL happen - Revelation is being fulfilled right before our eyes here - and me having a clean house just isn't that important. RH is coming - and sooner than the calendars have it, going by the moon phase! - and.....well, I'm watching. And thinking. And, most of all, PRAYING.