I've been watching with interest the volatile stock market for the past week or so. Some people are getting a little nervous. Some are selling off their stock and losing money, others are picking up bargains and may or may not end up making money long term. This is all on top of a housing market that is quickly losing steam, banks making it harder to borrow money for a house, and people stuck in adjustable rate mortgages with rising payments.
For those without God, this could be a scary time. I suppose that I might be a little worried too, if I didn't know that God was in control. My husband starts his new job on Monday. Starting a new job in a time with an uncertain economy has it's natural risks... although we didn't really have a choice since he lost his last one due to cutbacks.
I personally don't think that America is mentioned in Revelation or any of the prophetic passages of the Bible. There is a passage somewhere about an eagle getting it's wings clipped or something along those lines, but that's the only one that I can think of, and that's not pretty. I know that some people think that America and Babylon are one and the same, but my opinion is that Babylon is actually Babylon... that city in Iraq. I don't think that God would use the name of an actual city if he really meant something else. Feel free to disagree with me, it's not a matter of salvation or anything else of vital importance.
America itself seems to be in a perilous time. There are so many countries in the world that hate us for one reason or another. That wouldn't bother me so much, if our country wasn't in such moral decay. Sometimes it's difficult to even discern right and wrong, even with reading your Bible and going to church on a regular basis. There are games and books out there that aren't the most wholesome, it's so easy to steal songs over the internet, even just going to the mall for tennis shoes leaves you bombarded with images that it's better not to see. Earlier this year, I was reading through Leviticus, I noted with particular interest chapter 18, which lists all these sins, saying that the land will vomit one out for these sins. The whole chapter easily described our country. Could America be in trouble for its sins?
Me and my husband have discussed moving to Australia. It's a nice enough country, that doesn't seem to be like the Roman Empire in its state of decline. I spent 5 weeks there in 1997 and it seemed like a second home to me... I have been fond of it ever since. It's quite expensive to just pack up and move to another country, so for financial reasons, God has told us we can't go right now. Perhaps we will not ever go.
I do not wish ill on my country, but I try to prepare in case we do see a downfall. I stock up on nonperishable food, a little at a time. You never know when you might have to be quarantined to your house during a bird flu epidemic, or the economy goes haywire and food becomes an expensive luxury.
But most of all, I try to prepare mentally for the possibility of the tide of prosperity turning in America. I try to keep in mind that God is in control, and no matter what happens in this life, it is only temporary and better things await for those that love God. I try to realize how fortunate I am right now... to have enough to eat, a place to stay, a nice computer, great kids. I try to enjoy the blessings now, and not take them for granted. I try to think of all the Christians around the world today, and throughout history, who were killed or forced into hiding for their faith. God helped them through the worst circumstances we can imagine... if we are ever put in a situation like that, I try to trust (and pray) that God would give me the strength to deal with it.
So I watch the stock market with interest. I don't wish for it to drop (especially since I have an inheritance that is bound up in Microsoft stock), but I realize that God has a plan for this country, for good or for bad, and he is in control.