Sometimes I see movies or read books & stories about times past and ponder over the decisions made by people living in them. Some cowardly and shameful, such as the acts performed in the south by the KKK for generations after the Civil War. Others noble and wise, like our Founding Fathers during the Revolutionary War.
I can’t help but wonder, if I had lived during any of those times, would I have still chosen to follow Christ? Would I have had the courage necessary in those critical moments to stand up against the darkness? Looking back now it is easy to say yes because I have the benefit of hindsight to understand who was on the “right side” of history and who was not, and as a result say to myself, “Oh yes, of course I would have made the right choices”.
But given the depravity of man (for we are told in Jeremiah that the heart of man is desperately wicked, deceitful above all things), and knowing who I used to be at one time and how far I’ve come in Christ through the Holy Spirit, it frightens me to realize that I could have found myself on the wrong side of history instead. If challenged, would I have chosen to satisfy my immediate need, or would I have been strong enough to see beyond myself and adhere to the vision of God instead?
One could argue that I am who I am and would have made similar choices no matter, but I still can’t help but wonder if I had been placed in any other family or country or period of history, would my choices have been different?
Perhaps, but our God is gracious! He sets us up for success instead! Acts 17:26-28 affirms that He determined for me, for all of us, the exact time in history we would be born and the exact places we would live, all so that we would seek Him, reach out to Him, and find Him! For it is in Him that we live, and move, and have our being! Lord, this is our appointed time, and it’s our turn! Knowing we have so great a cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1), may we all seek You and find You! May we all make the choices that will find us on the right side of HIS STORY.
“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being.” – Acts 17:26-28