Todays’ entry’s title comes from Luke 21:24 (KJV), where Jesus assures his listeners that, despite all the strange things happening before he comes again, redemption (deliverance, salvation, rescue) is close at hand.
You and I may have waited, perhaps for years, for (small and large) deliverance from irksome, dangerous or life-threatening circumstances that just don’t seem to go away. The rescues we pray for just don’t seem near. Uncle Ned remains a loud-mouthed jerk, some of our relationships have been soured for decades, the planet still struggles to breathe, liars keep avoiding punishment, fewer people listen to our advice and fear/anger continues to crowd out nobler, more righteous attitudes. Whatever is “drawing nigh” sure doesn’t feel like any kind of redemption.
The mountains, valleys and deserts of my home state—California—have also been waiting for their salvation for decades. For years, deliverance from drought, pollution and fire seems to have grown more unlikely, more impossible.
And then it happened: Overwhelming amounts of rain and snow visiting the state repeatedly. In unprecedented amounts, life-giving moisture returned to the forests, croplands, ground water and reservoirs of the state. Life rejuvenated….
This summer I saw the evidence of this sudden rescue from climate trendlines in rarely blossoming desert flowers, verdantly green meadows and forests. In flourishing insect, bird, aquatic and mammal life. In snow-capped mountains that now limit the influence of forest fires and promise the continued blessing of water for months to come.
This redemptive weather caused property and infrastructure damage as well as loss of life. The net effect, though, seems to have been prayer-answering deliverance. The small signs— flowers, insect life, greenery—bear witness to the greater deed: God’s providential rescue—for now—of a planet and its people, who have waited a long time for their redemption.
Our God also works to rescue Uncle Ned, the liars, the choking planet, fearful/angry people and our relationships. Because our personal redemptions are also near, we are not without hope!
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