A boy and his younger sister were playing at the beach, doing what kids do in the sand—building castles and creating imaginary people out of small shells, sticks and smooth stones. For these kids, their world is limited in ways they can’t fully appreciate. At night, they sleep securely in their home and by day, there’s ample food in the cupboards. Their parents take care of business so they can concentrate on what kids need to do—grow up.
Across the ocean from these sandcastles, is a place where children work listlessly in fields or factories, sleep in crude shacks and are fed a steady diet of lies from their tyrannical leaders. North Korea, a nuclear-capable rogue nation, now has an inexperienced leader promulgating a war-mongering manifesto, escalating global tensions.
I watched as the young boy amassed an army of rocks in defense of his fortified sandcastle. War games. Somehow boys are hardwired to defend. I wonder about North Korean boys—the ones who believe Americans are enemies and the cause of their misery. Many grow up and become part of the North Korean war machine. Recent news footage showed grim-faced young soldiers shooting cardboard American soldiers.
On the Mount of Olives, Jesus warned about wars and rumors of wars. He didn’t create a timeline, but told people to read the signs—forewarning us about the wars, persecution, false prophets, and evil that will cause love to grow cold.
The 21st Century global concerns aren’t much different from those Jesus spoke of during that time. Same evil. Same warning signs for God’s people to see. Since Jesus spoke those words centuries ago, every generation has wondered if they would see the end.
We may be able to stop Kim Jong Un but there's nothing we can do to stop Jesus' return. That's why Jesus was less concerned about the wars and more focused on getting people ready for His return. Warning signs tell us to be mindful and be ready. Ignoring the signs won't change the danger ahead, nor does it stop the cosmic countdown.
I watched the waves creep closer to the kid’s sandcastles. In the fading light, we picked up the pails and small shovels and made our way towards home.
Turning back to look at the setting sun, I watched the waves erase all signs of the sandy civilization that had been there minutes before.
One day evil will be wiped away too. I lift my eyes to heaven and sense the desperate prayers of those who hope Jesus comes soon. Until then I'll do what Jesus asked—prepare and warn others.