SERENDIPITY FOR SATURDAY

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IN HIS TIME

Decades ago, whenever world-renown infidel Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll would deliver one of his lectures against religion and the Bible, his fame and oratorical ability always assured him of large crowds of both admirers and skeptics.  Although he was the son of a Congregational minister, his father’s own liberal thinking clashed with those of the conservative congregation and this ignited the flame of doubt in young Ingersol’s mind. Even though he was a civil war veteran and trained as a lawyer, he found his most popular forum was that of bashing politics, the clergy, and the Bible.

Sometimes he attracted crowds numbering over 50,000. After one very inflammatory speech in which he severely attacked people’s faith in God, he dramatically took out his pocket watch and said loudly, “I’ll give God a chance to prove that He exists and is almighty; I challenge Him to strike me dead within 5 minutes!” A dead silence came over the stunned audience; as the time ticked away people began to grow uneasy. Some left the hall, unable to take the nervous strain, and the increasing suspense caused one woman to faint. At the end of the allotted time, the atheist exclaimed derisively, “See!  There is no God. Look, I’m still alive!” After the lecture, a young fellow saw a Christian lady he knew and said to her, “Well, Ingersoll certainly proved something tonight!” Her reply was memorable. “Yes, he did,” she said. “He proved God isn’t taking orders from atheists.”

When my father told this story as part of a sermon, he ended it this way, “The Christian lady replied, ‘Yes, he did.  He proved you cannot exhaust God’s patience in 5 minutes.’”  Either way, God’s patience proves to be more powerful than any weapon the enemy might throw at His people. Miracles may happen in a second, but that moment has been in preparation for years before the hand of God brings it into reality. Some consider childbirth to be a miracle, but it takes as much as nine months before it comes to pass.

So often believers want God to act or react within seconds after the ungodly make their threat. But it helps to remember how God chose to wait over 400 years before bringing His children out of Egypt; Moses had to herd sheep in Midian before God sent him back down into Egypt to lead them out. He allowed David to run for years from Saul before letting him become king; He caused Hezekiah to experience tremendous fear and anxiety before bringing the threat of invasion against him to an end. It all worked out according to God’s will and purpose, and that’s what counts in the long run.

We all may become frustrated with God’s method of dealing with our enemies, but never make the mistake of trying to outguess our Heavenly Father. He only acts at His own appointed time as part of His plan for this world, its inhabitants, and His children. So, if something doesn’t happen as you want it to when you want it to, don’t get discouraged, it wasn’t part of His plan. Remember, all things work together for good to those who love God, and are called according to His purpose.[1] – Dr. Robert R Seyda

[1] Romans 8:28

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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