Interruptions of Joy In Troubling Times

Interruptions of Joy In Troubling Times

Mike Pyatt

We dwellers in remote geographic places like Wyoming, realize there exists a false sense of security in our vast expanse after a quixotic knee jerk response that “all is well.” One soon learns that government-at any level-cannot safeguard us from external threats. That’s our domain. Another compelling reason the Second Amendment is dear to us. Institutions nationally and worldwide are vulnerable to mischief and maniacal mayhem. Public schools react perilously with more “gun free zones.”

Last week no one imagined a six year old boy, who brought a 9mm gun from home, legally purchased by his mother, to a Virginia school, would shoot his 25 year old teacher. What’s the punishment for a six year old? Airports and public venues have become soft targets for terrorists, domestic and foreign, intent on massacring as many as possible. There’s no apparent sign of retreat. Our southern border is now overwhelmed, offering an open invitation to assault us domestically. President Trump temporarily halted the influx until the Biden administration opened the flood gates to aliens and the panoply of goodies awaiting them upon reaching the promised land.

In quieter moments, when no one else’s around, one’s confronted with the reality that we are troubled, at risk, by internal and external threats-those that routinely haunt us, and we’re prone to mutter to ourselves. In the midst of that constant murmur, that drones a disturbing message; our quotidian routine is insufficient to quell this troubling message, as the contour of one’s existence’s is subject to constant change. Denial’s a miserable defense of the facts. Something more sinister.

Out of the blue, at a NFL game in the Queen City, at Paycor Field, an on-field injury to Buffalo Bills safety, 24 year old, Damar Hamlin, precipitously opened the flood gates of prayer, skirting the normal secular restraints, and shook Americans from our routine self-serving pursuits. Immediately, both teams knelt huddled on the field, and openly wept and prayed for their gridiron colleague, whose life hung in the balance. Network analysts shunned the scripted knee-jerk reaction, “Our thoughts are with him,” replaced by a propositional sincere statement, “We too are praying for him.” Has Tim Tebow been vindicated for his public on-field praying for which he was vilified for years? Perhaps.

Within 24 hours prayers circumvented the globe for Hamlin, whose heart had stopped for nearly eight minutes, witnessed by a watching world. In the face of expanding secularism, our compass turns inward-the inevitable response to troubling times-without precedent in recent times, suddenly finding solace in unpretentious prayer. Like a miracle, Hamlin is off the breathing tube, watching his cohorts subdue the Patriots. On January 9th, he was transferred to a hospital in Buffalo, listing him in stable condition. Millions agree it was prayer that turned the horror of that event, to rejoicing with Hamlin’s “miraculous turn around” according to his doctors.

Fox News analyst Bill Hemmer succumbed to safely “cross his fingers.” That was in stark contrast to millions of Americans, who believed Hamlin’s recovery came from God in real time. Surprisingly, in the midst of troubling times, a reprieve to a time nearly forgotten, when millions agreed to invoke God’s help once again. It was “9/11” the last time Americans dared to openly beckon the God Who is there, into our realm once again. How long will this flirtation with the Divine last? Historically, it appears to be in relation to troubling times, when answers to daunting problems are beyond our reach, when vacuous religious mumbo-jumbo is wholly inadequate, and we’ve nowhere else to turn. Many hail this event as a much needed event in our predominately secular culture.

America isn’t exempt from upheaval, judgment and war. That we’ve drifted from God’s standards, bolstered by our Founders, to godlessness is difficult to refute. Any nation who pays lip service to a Holy God, yet behaving otherwise, is ripe for the slide to an abyss. Hostility to Biblical absolutes have grave and predictable consequences, undercutting any claim to moral authority, that’s counter intuitive to secularists, when opposing theological doctrines like sin and judgment. Such conditions, taken seriously, should compel any sane person to mutter to one’s self. One needn’t look for trouble. Affliction knows our address.

Unsurprisingly, during “good times” elite secularists insist there must surely be a more common sense “rationale approach” to solving vexing problems, without wading into a “theological quagmire.” To that end, nations have a dismal trail of endless accords, agreements, treaties and blunders that have been dolorously misdiagnosed, like the disastrous 2015, Paris Agreement, and the 1919, Treaty of Versailles, signed at the end of WWI. What’s in the drinking water in Paris?

Anglican Harry Blamire wrote in 1981, “Idolatries take a basic healthy interest and activities, and debase them to perversion and excess.” A timeless warning that evil wears many faces. Some are beguiled by Joel Osteen’s soft soap version of Christianity, promising “you’ll always getting a ‘A’ from God.” What ever that means. The irrevocable consequence of latitudinarianism gone awry.

What triggers one to talk to yourself and keep you awake at night? In those quiet moments of reflection, where does one turn for enduring peace? Jesus Christ is the only safeguard for one’s vexed soul. A razor thin veneer of false security is fleeting and wholly unreliable. At our core we know better. What do you think?

Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email’s


One comment

  1. Larry Branham

    Mike, Another tremendous article. Thanks for the long word to describe Joel’s theology.
    Be sure of my prayers for your great and much-needed ministry.


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