Last night I had dinner with a bunch of ladies at a local Asian fusion restaurant to celebrate Kim Happs launch of her destiny into Australia. I’ve always admired Kim and her husband, Tim’s passion for God and willingness to do anything He asked. Now she is moving to Australia to start a new job and adventure to help a church in a foreign land.
Sitting across from me was Lisa Enebeli, who had recently moved back from Malaysia to the U.S. Lisa and her husband pastored a church in Kuala Lumpur. I remember when Lisa was a youth leader in my church and wanted to marry an African-American. She married an African and her beautiful 5-year-old son sat next to her. Lisa had served in Malaysia for 9 years and was starting a new adventure back in Kansas City.
Lisa and another friend, Kari Phelps, shared with me how the U.S. is the ‘King of the Hill’ overseas. Kari served as a missionary in Thailand for several years. Lisa said the people on the streets of Malaysia loved Obama.
“When Obama was elected, this spoke to the world that the impossible was possible,'” Lisa explained. “Americans don’t realize that in most Asian countries, the government is controlled by one race or one family. The election of Obama signified to the world that a Black man could overturn a government controlled by Whites. We may not agree with everything Obama is doing, but the world loves him.”
Kari concurred as she explained to me how Thailand regularly had military coups. She lived in Thailand through one coup which was a non-event. “My friends were calling me from the U.S. freaking out because there was a coup,” she said. “But coups happened every couple of months and didn’t affect me.”
Unstable governments controlled by one race or one family make the U.S. look like paradise. Lisa shared with me how important it is for the U.S. to realize it’s place in scheme of world politics and take responsibility for the prominence God has given us. Kari, Lisa and Kim made me think of how God is not American. God is Kingdom, Eternal, the I am who orchestrates the affairs of nations for His purposes.
This morning I read portions of Psalm 33 that shows the greatness of a non-Western, non-American God who will not be controlled by a certain political party or form of government.
Psalm 33: 10-19
The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
He who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
America is in turmoil over the recent verdict from the George Zimmerman trial. In case you’ve been living under a rock or have had your head in the sand, George Zimmerman was not convicted of the shooting of an 18-year-old African American, Trayvon Martin, who was walking home after picking up some Skittles at the local 7-11. I asked my own 18-year-old son if he had been following the trial. “No I haven’t heard anything about it,” he said.
Although my son Chris hadn’t followed the trial, I kept thinking how that could have been my son walking home from the store late at night. And imagining Chris being followed by a trigger-happy self-appointed neighborhood watch guy. Heck, I would have freaked out if some guy was following my every move back to my own house.
I posted on my blog last week about this case and submitted it to a publication. The editors said my post would be too inflammatory and that I would probably receive some threats. This publication had already taken a lot of heat from readers just by publishing the news about this trial.
Now there are Christian leaders such as Tony Evans calling for reconciliation. Obama made the impossible look possible to the world. Apart from God moving in the hearts of the people, I don’t believe reconciliation is possible in our current condition. I believe we need to be reconciled to God first and then He will reconcile us to each other.
Division, disunity and trouble are part of fallen humanity. We can have rallies, protests and meetings to raise awareness of racism in America. But until we give our lives to Him, all of this activity is in vain.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save. – Psalm 33:17
We need God to come onto the scene of turmoil. We need divine intervention to change our hearts towards each other. Then we can see the impossible become the possible in the hand of God with racism erased from the planet. What do you think? Sound off here.