Awakening the Sleeping Giant
|December 7, 2021|
Today is the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This was the catalyst that propelled America to become a significant force in the winning of World War 2 . . . . defeat of the German Nazi war machine and Japanese imperialism. (What is interesting is that we now have a relatively healthy relationship with both Germany and Japan.) In January of 1942, Ogata Taketora, a Japanese newspaper editor, stated, “A military man can scarcely pride himself on having ‘smitten a sleeping enemy’; it is more a matter of shame, simply, for the one smitten. I would rather you made your appraisal after seeing what the enemy does, since it is certain that, angered and outraged, he will soon launch a determined counterattack.” The more popular version of this is – "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
I write this because of what is going on in our own country. But, instead of being attacked from the outside, we are attacking ourselves. We see this by the volatility of words, actions and decisions that are happening all around us. My personal prayer is that what turned out to be prophetic words (by Mr. Taketora) which did come to pass will also happen in our country. I pray that what is taking place in America (hatred, word twisting, riots, rampant crimes, ineffective decision-making, etc.) will be the catalyst that wakes up the “sleeping giant”, the Body of Christ. I pray this fills us with "a terrible resolve” to pray, run for office, not be afraid to take a stand on issue(s), gather with others to pray, etc.
Prior to Pearl Harbor, America was an isolationist nation. Government leaders chose not to get into the fight – instead to remain neutral – until the fight reached our shores. For me, there is a parallel here with Jesus/Yeshua’s words given to the Angel of the church in Laodicea found in Revelation 3:15-16. “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Laodicea’s geography was such that it received water from two primary sources: the snow-capped mountains of Colossae and the thermal (hot) springs of Hierapolis. But, by the time the water got to Laodicea – it was not very good to drink. Nasty might be a better word! May the Body of Christ no longer choose to be neutral. It will be hard at times, but together, perhaps we can “move mountains” (ref. Matt 17:20).
Yesterday was the final day of Hanukkah. Last week we saw how it was known as Feast of Dedication. It is also known as Feast of Lights. When the Temple was to be dedicated back to the Lord, the people discovered they only had enough oil, needed for the Temple’s Menorah (lampstand), for one day. It would take 8 days to process more oil. The miracle which took place was that the one day of oil lasted for 8 days; hence, why Hanukkah lasts 8 days. Tradition holds that the menorah was to be lit only at night since its purpose is to bring light into darkness. Hmmm, where have we heard that before? When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12.
What is the first thing we do when the power goes out – especially at night? Having lived in SE Texas (lots of tropical storms and the occasional hurricane) I would lose power once or twice a month. The first thing people do is to bring out the candles and the flashlights. The second thing we do is to call the power company to find out when the power will be restored. It’s not that we are afraid, but there is something comforting about being able to see. After one hurricane, my power was off for over three weeks. Needless to say, I lasted only 1 week staying by myself before I accepted the hospitality of others who either had a generator or their power had been restored.
So, why do I share this story? Light brings comfort. Many times we are faced with “darkness” in our families, work places, social gatherings, and society in general. Yes, people can see in the physical; however, darkness can affect their lives through fear, worry, anxiety, anger, frustration, etc. Can we be the “light” someone is desperately needing? Can we bring the light of hope, encouragement, and peace to those the Lord allows us to engage with each day? Sometimes this is reflected through acts of service. Other times it is through sharing the truth of God, of Jesus/Yeshua with grace and compassion to one who is downtrodden, whether physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.
As we inch closer to Christmas, I pray that the many lights you see will be a reminder of God’s miraculous provision some 2200 years ago of allowing the one-day supply of oil to last 8 days. I pray that as you enjoy the lights in your homes, your neighborhood or if you have a chance to visit Winterhaven’s Festival of Lights, that it will be a continual reminder of Jesus’ words, “I am the light of the world”. I pray each day you will have opportunities to “……let your light shine before others….” Matthew 5:16a.
I do hope you will consider participating in the Purpose Workshop that will be held on December 14. Perhaps it can be an early Christmas present to yourself or to someone you care about. You will find this workshop informative and insightful. Blessings & Shalom,KrisIf you are not on our Corporate Newsletter, sign up today!
Blessings & Shalom,