When Disaster Strikes You

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Proverbs 1: 20-33 Wisdom’s Rebuke

Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech:

“How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you – when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

If you’ve ever been to Hollywood, CA you’ve surely picked up on the extreme diversity of fortunes in the area. The very heights of human fame and glory mixed side by side with the lowest depths we can sink. Shining wealth mixed with rotting decay. When I was walking around Hollywood last summer I took the picture above to capture that feeling I had. My hotel a hotbed of cool, and the outer surroundings a cesspool of desperation to gain entrance into that club. All around me plastic idols to worship, and human suffering and lost souls to absorb. Spray painted graffiti on a wall less than a mile from where the Oscars are held it reads: “Expect us cappin”…and I do expect such. That’s the nature of wicked man that has always played out. Wisdom calls out and no one pays attention when she stretches out her hand. She promises that when disaster strikes…they will call to her and she will not answer. She will laugh.

Last night in Australia, one of America’s iconic famous people, Madonna, had another onstage meltdown, as her life spirals out of control. While on stage in front of thousands, she begged to the crowd, “Someone please (F-word) me.” Then she pleaded to the crowd…”Somebody take care of me please. Who is going to take care of me?” Wisdom has turned her back. Madonna who once sang to an entire generation of impressionable young girls, “Papa Don’t Preach,” now begs to those aged fans to care for her, as they witness her implosion.

Kim Kardashian, world famous, fabulously wealthy, married to Kanye West equally both, and whose father is another world famous icon as an athlete, who is now a woman named, Caitlyn, just couldn’t help herself but to post a totally nude selfie to the world this past week. Never stopping to think of how much influence she wields, and what that behavior adds to the world below she lives on top of. She begs for more adoration down to her very flesh – worship all of me she pleads. Wisdom turns her back.

Richard Simmons, cultural American exercise icon and silly personality, who lives in the Hollywood Hills, was revealed this week by his friends to be of great concern and worry. Cutting himself off suddenly from the world over 2 years ago and holed up in his Hollywood mansion. Many fear he’s under total control by his housekeeper and manager. They called out in a published article for someone to help him. One friend even claimed voodoo and black magic are being used on him by the housekeeper. The occult. Richard Simmons…cut off from the world where is face is universally known.

Legendary rock music artist, Keith Emerson, shot and killed himself this week. His girlfriend said the 71 year old was deeply depressed and hurt by online comments mocking his playing ability at this stage in life. He suffered from nerve damage that left him not as talented as he once was. He had shows coming up in Japan that he feared he would play terrible during. He killed himself. His fans who rose him up, ultimately took him all the way down.

This past week, Randy Meisner, legendary bass player and vocalist from, The Eagles, was also involved in more iconic tragedy. 1 1/2 hours after police had left their home for a domestic disturbance call, his wife accidently shot and killed herself by moving a loaded weapon. Not long before Randy was involved in a foiled murder/suicide threat. His wife is now dead and he’s in lockdown in a mental facility in LA.

Even world famous Christian pastor, Max Lucado, recently felt a taste of wrath tied to complacency, when he dared to step out on a limb and call out presidential candidate and billionaire, Donald Trump. Pastor Lucado, author of many best selling books and bible studies, and having a net worth estimated around 10 million dollars gained on the back of Christianity, was shocked at the hit back he received from Trump’s supporters. I was proud of the pastor for having the guts to put his brand (his name) on the line to say something important. It showed that wisdom has been calling out and he heard her and acted. This leader who was so far disconnected to the reality of the world all around him, as he rested comfortably in a bubble of false teaching for profit, suddenly made a dent into Satan’s grip on this world. The result frightened him. It should have. Welcome to the spiritual war, Pastor.

When disaster strikes, who will have your back? Do you know? Can you run safely into the arms of God because your relationship with him is rock solid in teaching and understanding? Or will you be like Madonna…”Who is going to take care of me?” Disaster is going to strike…it’s assured. In my life it has struck several times already, and I’m only 49 years old. I run towards God and his protection. His grace. His love. His discipline. His rebuke. He has surrounded me with loyalty and I give it back equally. He has instilled in me values and knowledge to comprehend the moments I am in. These things haven’t happened by accident. I had to hear her. I had to see those arms stretched out and listen. I had to accept her rebuke.

One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to accept, and I still struggle with it, is not getting personal credit for the things I do. Why don’t I? God protects me from stories and endings like all the ones I just listed from just this past week. I understand that’s why, but I also live in this world where Hollywood’s exist and my worldly ego feels it belongs in them. God knows where that leads and I belong to him. He won’t allow me to go there. Thanks be to God. The rebukes will keep coming until I fully relent once and for all. Even Pastor Lucado…that’s not for me. That’s not my destiny. I work for Him. It’s just how it’s to be. Glory be to God…not to Gary’s. This is the most dangerous ground I walk upon, and that’s why all those stories above ring in my heart and capture my attention. Yet, even though I still struggle with this, God pours abundance upon me uninterrupted, as he uses me for his purposes. Always showing and teaching me the way it all works in harmony between He and his own. I want for nothing. My purpose full of meaning and wonder. I’ve come a long way in this lesson. I will not turn back. I hear her and adhere to her teachings.

Do you? When disaster strikes you…where will you turn?

Gary Abernathy

 

 

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