By Peter Michael Martinez
Originally posted January 2003
People are going to and fro at great speed, just as Daniel predicted. There are so many things to do everyday and so little time. Where does all that time go? Why does it seem as though there is never enough to do what needs to be done?
Working, marriage, relationships, pay bills, exercise, children, activities, work, house, cleaning, work, friends, family, church, work, shopping, laundry, cooking, phone calls, letters, work, email, reading, television, movies, vacations, recreation, and then we need some time for sleeping.
Is it any wonder that prayer falls through the cracks? Is it any wonder that people have little time to consider the broader issues of life? Is it any wonder that people are dying a little bit each day? Everyday that passes is spent in pursuit of something. Rarely is the day enjoyed for just being. So little time, so much to do.
While it may seem that the people are indifferent to the “real” world and the real issues of life, I believe that for the most part they are hopelessly bound to a “system” that breaks their hearts. For many, the cry of their heart is muffled by the activity of the brain. Many people are suffocating and gagging and can’t find their way out.
Like a giant fire, the business of life consumes our moments. We give day after day to pursuit and then teach it to our children. Strive for this, then strive for that. When they want to just enjoy the day, they cannot. Too much to do and schedules to keep, things to pursue.
Then it happens. A jolt to the norm that shakes us from the slumber. A shock to the system that awakens the heart. The brain cannot function well. The desire to pursue dies quickly. The world has changed. Time stands still. Why did this have to happen? Why did this have to be this way?
So is the way of the world of men, consumed by time and slaves to pursuit. The only answer is to shake them and bring them powerfully into the moment of NOW with all their senses alive and powerfully awake. The only way to break the cycle. The only way to freedom. It is unfortunate but necessary. Extreme pain.
Tragedy has ability like no other thing in our life. When tragedy strikes, the status quo is interrupted. When calamity strikes, we suddenly are very present in our moment. We are quickly reminded of all that really matters and people, even for just a short period of time, live from the heart instead of the mind and all its pursuits.
Yes, tragedy is a very useful tool in the hands of a loving and caring God. You see, tragedy shakes people. It opens the door for people to come to HIM. Oh that prosperity and blessing could do this, but no, instead, prosperity helps put them to sleep.
You see, people do not cry unto the LORD in times of blessing. If they did, they would not need tragedy. Why tragedy would go unused and calamity would be a far from us. But alas, when God is far from our thoughts and we are in hot pursuit of the next thing, we need a good tragedy to bring us to what really matters.
Oh, wouldn’t it be nice if people would anticipate coming tragedy and pursue the LORD without this tool? What a wonderful thing that would be that people would come to Him without the need for deliverance from calamity or pain. Unfortunately, this is not the way of man. Man, for whatever reasons, needs to suffer. Pain is invariably the agent of awaking.
Psalms 18:6-7, “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.”
As you read the psalmist’s heart, do you not see how that calamity and distress brings about the hand of the LORD. Why is that? Why do we wait so long to cry? Are we so asleep to our plight? Have we no sense of our own danger?
In Egypt, Israel suffered under the hand of Pharaoh. They had to be brought to the place of such misery that finally they cried out. The cry had to be so great that they would be heard in heaven. So it is with men. They need to cry for their hearts to be still enough to hear the voice of the LORD.
Psalms 34:15, “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.”
There are a few who always seem to be crying. They irritate the ones trying to sleep. Wisdom and understanding are given to all who cry for them. Yet with wisdom comes a toll. They will cry all the more as they see the bondage of men. They will cry all the more as they understand that it is through tragedy and calamity that the people will awaken.
Psalms 107:19-21, “Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
Can the sending of the word come without a cry? Will the people receive one whom they do not cry for? Will they receive the answer to their heart’s cry? Unfortunately, distress is necessary. Hardship and trouble are indeed necessary tools for eternal living.
In a manner, the Great Tribulation period is the greatest period of mass awakening. For in the days of the greatest trials, men will need to chose life or death in every moment. Before that great day, individuals encounter this same thing in their lives. Pain and suffering are used of God. This is as it should be. For if the LORD loves you, and indeed He does, then He must needs bring such things. Would He rather not? I believe He would rather that men would hold fast to Him without tragedy. I believe that He would that men would not fall again into slumber.
Nevertheless, men love sleep and the business of life puts them to sleep with regard to the Kingdom of God and the eternal affairs of true life. So, an alarm is sounded. Trouble is on the horizon. Harm is coming to the lives of many people. Why? Because the LORD loves them and it is only when they are diligently seeking Him that He can reward them as He desires.
How shall God wake You? Shall it be the death of a family member? Shall it be the tragic loss of a friend. Shall the LORD use financial difficulty to awaken you? Shall you find yourself in physical pain? What is needed to awaken you?
Wouldn’t it be grand if all you needed was this letter? Yes, just this letter and you would awaken and pray. That would be wonderful. Then the LORD would not need to use calamity and trouble. No, it would remain far from you for you cry unto the LORD without it.
Oh yes, it would be grand if all you needed was this letter … instead of WWIII?
In the King’s perfect love. . . . .
Peter Michael Martinez