It has amazed me the sheer volume of preparedness advertisements currently out there. On the way home from a trip, I heard commercial after commercial for buying food storage, enticements for gun ownership and acquiring gold and precious metal for protection from the coming economic storm. I do have to say it can wear on me and test my heart, exposing an old fear of mine. I call it: Oh my God, it’s the Grapes of Wrath!
When I was little, I watched the movie Grapes of Wrath with Henry Fonda. To say the least, it disturbed me. It hit on several points of fear in my heart, which I won’t go into, but as I reflect this morning on the commercials, I wanted to share something with you.
The Grapes of Wrath movie was based on a book, written in 1939 by John Steinbeck. It tells of the hardships experienced by the common man during the Great Depression. It is full of devastation, despair and hopelessness – conditions which are not permanently rooted in those who truly look to God. It is not that I believe tragedy can’t befall servants of the Lord, but the hopelessness, often elevated by Hollywood and the sensationalists (both religious and secular), does not reside in the man whose hope is GOD.
The protagonist in the story ends up becoming a social activist for the downtrodden (surely a “Never Again” statement), and the only representative of God is a preacher who, having lost his call and faith, eventually dies at the hands of an authority. Although the movie, over the book, leaves you on bit of a higher note – “We will survive!” – the real message is that if you don’t take your destiny by the nose and lead it where you want to go, you will ultimately be shortchanged by God.
Now the Lord Jesus says in Matthew 8,
“Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests,
but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
This He spoke to a would-be disciple with grand intentions.“Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” The implication of the Lord’s dialog here is: “If you wish to follow me, I will have to be your security.” This statement is not for the faint of heart. No guarantee of a 401(k) here. The Lord Himself is your assurance and insurance, regardless of whether He provides a fixed retirement plan.
He has the right to take you wherever He wishes to go. My hope rests in the fact that He is my Shelter. If His presence is my desire, then I will be at home wherever I am and in whatever situation He leads me into.
Martha said to me one morning at prayer, “The one who gives the Lord a home will have a home. Intimacy is your only hope and only need in a time of decline.“ Thank you, Lord!
*Formally “Git yer gun, Meemaw!” now titled Grapes of Wrath.