Just after the California Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in the San Diego area, I once again watched devastating fires across the Los Angeles area. Homes were going up in flames, Santa Ana winds blowing in excess of 70 miles per hour, a state of emergency had been declared for four LA-area counties, and more than 10,000 people evacuated from their homes. This was another major crisis and natural disaster for our state.
I considered how fragile our existence. So many seem to forget this world is not our home. Christians are pilgrims passing through to Heaven - our permanent home. No matter how comforting this thought might be to the believer, it take away neither the pain of seeing material possessions disappear before one's eyes nor the hardships that are to follow.
During times of crisis such as this, or political, social and moral turmoil in which we find ourselves these days, we need to understand that only God can comfort. He, as the old song goes, "has the whole world in His hands."
I've been a bit disappointed in reactions to all sorts of political decisions made on Nov. 4. Regardless of whether our candidate or our platform was victorious, Christians should pray for those who lead us both in a spiritual and civic sense.
The Apostle Paul in Romans 13 tells us to submit to authority. If I'm going to submit to someone, I certainly want to pray they would be God-honoring leaders. Through our pilgrimage there is no place or time for Christians to "pick and choose" which part of God's instruction to obey since He has called His children to a life of obedience.
I continue to believe the only way to change our society and culture is to change the hearts of men, women, boys and girls. I believe it is much more important for California Southern Baptists to help sinners and those hurting find Jesus and be eternally transformed than to worry about or be involved in the temporal things of Earth.
All around us is a lost world, so let us "lay aside every weight" and lift up the redeeming name of Christ, who is the only one with the power to bring "authentic transformation" in our lives, communities and world.
Let us never forget: He is the One in whose hands we rest. He is the One in whom we can trust. And He is the One who will comfort us in every situation of life.