hidden reality

Hidden reality As we drive through Indiana at night, red lights dot the landscape around us. It is strange. They are everywhere, and in seemingly well-spaced rows. I wonder what they could be.

An airport? Cell phone towers? An alien landing?

I would keep wondering, except that the answer suddenly pops into my head. Not because I can see what is behind the red lights, but because I remember driving this passage during the day.

Windmills. Gigantic windmills, which, during the day, are impossible to miss. They are white monstrosities dotting the landscape of otherwise serene farm fields. It is hard to believe that at night I can see nothing but the flashing red lights, warning airplanes of their existence.

I think we are often blind to things going on around us.

There is a neat little story in 2 Kings 6. Elisha the prophet has been warning the king of Israel of the king of Aram’s plans to fight him. Outraged, the king of Aram sends his army to Dothan, where Elisha is staying, and surrounds the city.

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked. – 2 Kings 6:15-18

In our culture, we are consistently pushed to trust in only what we can see and touch. But the Bible says that there is not only a material world, but a spiritual one. It tells us that there are forces at work all around us: forces of good and forces of evil. And pretending the spiritual world does not exist is as ridiculous as ignoring a field full of windmills.

Thankfully, God understands human weaknesses. He knows that though our reason is meant to support our faith, it sometimes works against it. So, just like the red lights placed on the windmills, He provides us with signs that there is more to this world than meets the eye.

There are signs of good forces at work. Prayers get answered. Miraculous healings occur. People are victorious over the sins that once ruled their lives. Generosity is witnessed even in difficult economic times.

There are also signs of the dark forces at work. The prevalence of depression. The brokenness of families. The destructive choices that have become social norms.

As we think about the good and evil forces all around us, we need not loose hope. Just like Elisha, we can remember that the One who is for us is stronger than what is against us.

If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:31-32, 37-39

Amen.

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