The Rejected Remedy To What Ails Humanity

The idea for this article that you are reading today came to me a few nights ago while riding in my car. As I cruised through certain parts of our town, especially areas where I had much interaction with people when I was growing up, I came to a certain street in Newtown that was once, arguably, the most prominent and well-kept one in the entire community that has become a sore spot and gathering of idle, thuggish, and defiant young African- American men. As I passed a few of these problematic young men without aspiration and little opportunity of a brighter future (who I make it my business to pray for and relate with when I meet them at one of my favorite convenience stores to get coffee and gas), I thought about how desperately they need to have a close encounter with the One who drastically altered my life over forty-five years ago and set me on the right path. Before I truly met Him, I was in the same, if not worst, predicament as these misguided and unfortunate young rebels without a cause. Though not addicted to drugs, I was beginning to experiment with them by smoking reefer (marijuana) that I had been exposed to while attending college. Thank God that crack cocaine had not been invented and was not available in our area back then. I dread to think of what I would have gotten myself into given my stupidity and audacity to explore and experiment with new ways of thrill seeking. When someone once asked me why I smoked reefer back then, I gave them this somewhat poetic and philosophical response, “It opens up the avenues of my mind.”
To make a long story short about my deliverance from racial hatred, stealing, lying, and much worst, I was completely devastated and broken in spirit by what I now know was the convicting power of the Holy Spirit not many days after I perpetrated a failed hold up attempt of a man who was selling household products from his van (as a few did back then). The irony of the matter is that I held him up at gun point in my own front yard. It was nearing Christmas day, me with my lazy and scheming self, thought it was not wrong in my warped way of thinking and justifying my actions, because after all he was a white man. While my youngest brother was inside the house, as a type of decoy, and would answer the door and tell the man that I was not at home, like a stealthy snake, I waited outside concealed by the darkness of the night with a stocking pulled over my face and a shotgun in my hand. As my brother, who was not fully aware of my scheme, momentarily occupied him, I hid where he could not detect me. Immediately, when he returned to his van to enter on the driver’s side, I held him up with the shotgun pointed directly at him. When I demanded that he give me all of his money or else, he stalled for a time and suddenly surprised me by grabbing the front of the gun and turning it away from himself. We struggled for the position of it for a while until I finally let go and fled away from the scene – away from my own front yard in the grip of panic with my heart beating as fast as I can ever remember. Into the darkness of the night, I plunged while an internal and infernal and much denser darkness held my soul captive. It was not many days thereafter that I, laden with shame, guilt, and sin, cried out from the depth of despair that I now know that the Lord in His sovereignty had set me in. Though I had been baptized and converted while I was in the fifth grade, I had never allowed Jesus to be the Lord of my life Furthermore, I did not know how to and was never taught, by my little church who had neither a children’s church or youth pastor to teach the young converts, how to walk with God from a child or youth perspective. Consequently, I strayed away and lived in a backslidden state for many years until the Lord used the incident that I shared to convict me and bring me to repentance. I have been walking with Him now going on forty-six years and I would not exchange Him for anything or anybody. Truly He is the One who my soul loves and I will not let Him go.
There are many ills and perplexing problems that have been inflicted upon our culture, as well as the whole of humanity. Many well-meaning and learned people of various professions, ideologies, and even religions are seeking answers and solutions that will cure or solve these malignant problems that have reached pandemic proportions. Their concern and effort is to be commended. However, I do not wish to sound like a skeptic, pessimist, or killjoy, but there can be no cure to what ails us individually or corporately without the Great Physician. I am living proof of the gracious and healing power of God that will work, not only in the life of one, but in all who will turn to Him for healing and help. Jesus is not only the answer for the saving and restoration of the young, defiant men that I mentioned at the beginning of my column today, He is the answer for everyone, the down and outers, as well as the up and outers; the poor and destitute; as well as the rich and prominent. Without Him, there will never be any true and lasting peace in the Middle East between the Israelites and the Arabs. Without Him, the senseless killing and gang violence will never cease. Without Him racism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and all other ethnic evils and hostilities will continue to escalate and intensify. Without Him, global warming, the polluting of our oceans, seas, and rivers will only grow worse and worse. Omit Him from the healing process of what ails and plagues our nation, as well as the whole of humanity and we are all people of despair and certain doom and destruction. If I did not have hope and was ignorant of the promises He made in His word about the time that is coming when violence shall be no more and all the evil that has enslaved mankind and all but ruined the ecosystem and natural order of His creation, I would be biting my nails and worrying myself to an early grave, as so many are doing. I am full of anticipation and optimism because I know that He is in sovereign control of everything and has declared the end from the beginning. I am looking up in faith and excitement because these seemingly out of control evils that are escalating and intensifying daily are birth pangs and harbingers of His imminent Second Coming to this earth that He made. The first time He came as a humble servant, the Lamb of God, who would give His life and blood for the sin and redemption of the world. This time, He’s coming as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who will reign and set all things in order. What humanity and the nations, for the most part, are despising and refusing to accept today will be universally accepted then. The Rejected Remedy to what ails humanity will finally be administered to the nations without any constraints, censuring, or opposition. Thank God that you do not have to wait until that time, if you are fortunate enough to be in the number of those who survive to receive this healing and deliverance. He will deliver and heal you today, right now, as He did me, if you would but ask Him…
A stanza from a song by the late, great song writer and gospel recording artist, Andraé Crouch, is very appropriate to conclude my column with today:
“Jesus is the answer for the world today; above Him there’s no other Jesus is the way.”