That was Then: Soon This Will be Too

Many of us feel like we’re swimming against a torrent that is rushing toward a massive waterfall. We can hear the water crashing over the edge and slamming onto the rocks below, and it’s getting louder and louder.

We look to history for guidance and find that at first glance it’s no help at all. It merely reminds us that empires fall and usually due to the stupidity, and/or perfidy of those in charge, which is terrifyingly all too familiar. But let’s narrow that focus a little. No other nation has ever been built solely on a principle -- that each human being has an inalienable right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It is also true that no nation in history has maintained a constitution anywhere near as long as has the United States. Ours has been functioning, more or less, as intended, for over 234 years, whereas other nation's average is just 17 years. We must have gotten something right. 

We can also look back at our history and find times when things looked this grim, and yet, we came through, we won. What chance did we have against England back in the 18th century? We had to be nuts to think we could successfully divorce ourselves from the most powerful nation on earth at the time. We weren’t even a full-fledged country yet. We had no standing army, no organized system of taxation, very little in the way of infrastructure, and only the most rudimentary methods of communication. Our forefathers had only three things going for them: the British soldiers were 3,000 miles from home; King George III was mentally unstable; and these first Americans took God seriously -- and had since the early 1600s, and it doesn’t take much looking to see that God controls history.

Let’s look back at the Civil War. How hopeless that had to be for everyone involved. After all, it was fought on our soil, so, like the War for Independence, the battles would be fought in people’s backyards, their schools, and churches turned into field hospitals, the soldiers billeted in their homes. Medicine had yet to catch up to weaponry, so both sides suffered more casualties than ever before at a time when surgeons were not capable of mending soldiers -- they could only saw off the injured limbs. The horror is almost unimaginable. And yet, right prevailed, the Union was saved, the slaves were freed, and the country kept on growing.

We lived through the War to end all Wars only to face the Spanish Flu pandemic which killed even more people than the war had -- over 50 million. We barely recovered from those twin evils when the stock market fell, the weather turned hot and dry, and the Great Depression descended upon us. Our parents and grandparents watched as their topsoil lifted off and blew away. They raced to the bank only to find out it had closed; they planted crops only to watch them shrivel and die. Bankers jumped off buildings, women made the children clothes from flour sacks, and Ma Joad scraped together another batch of biscuits. Yet, in spite of bad policy out of Washington, we lived through it.  In fact, it made a whole generation strong enough to successfully fight WWII. God controls history.

And how frightening that must have been. We were not ready to fight a war, let alone a war on two different fronts against two different enemies. We had to scramble, train up not only an army, a navy, and an air force, we had to train a new, female workforce to build the tanks and guns and ammo our fighting forces depended on. Food and rubber and gasoline were rationed, -- everyone could feel the fight. Lists of the dead were published in daily papers. Our parents and grandparents had no idea that we could win this war -- not a concrete idea. They had faith, and determination, and open patriotism. They had God.

We’ve stumbled through wars since then -- Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf, Iraq, -- nothing as clear and focused as previous wars, but we have fought other battles and helped other nations. And now we’re embroiled in a war against our own culture, against everything that has made us great. Most noticeably seeing God -- who has been our rudder, our guiding light since the 17th century -- attacked with hatred and derision. The “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” come to mind.

We need to keep God. He was with us when Washington and his tattered troops crossed the Delaware. He watched over the soldiers stranded on the beach at Dunkirk.

That God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not pleased with what we are doing to our children. We know this because of what He ordered the Israelites to do to the pagans of Canaan who threw their babies into the fires of Moloch. He is not pleased with the whole LBGTQ/Trans movement – remember Sodom and Gomorrah? He is not pleased with the way our culture mocks truth. God is truth. Satan is “the Father of Lies,” and we know from prophecy that Satan loses this biggest of all battles – Good versus Evil.

The truth is that Good wins – not right away, not easily, not without sacrifice (Look what happened with Jesus). We don’t know if America -- which once was America the Good -- will survive, but we never knew that in the past either. We just knuckled down, got to work, prayed, and fought. We didn’t grab our blankies, curl up in a ball and suck our thumbs. We reloaded and kept on shooting. We prayed.

And the “we” I refer to wasn’t even close to being all of us. We won all those battles because of a dedicated, inspired few. Remember Abraham bargaining with God over the fate of Sodom? Abraham got God to agree to saving Sodom if only 10 righteous people lived there. Only 10.  There weren’t, but who’s to say that God wouldn’t honor a bargain of the same percentage for us? We need to be discussing that with Him. We need to do so urgently.

This isn’t a Pollyanna approach; it’s a broad-spectrum approach. If we get so narrow in our focus that we forget our heritage, then we will be doomed. There’s a reason why the Left wants to erase our history -- it is impossible to destroy us if we still have that history for inspiration, for determination, for encouragement. No nation in all of Earth’s history has been able to do what we have done, and we can do it again. We just need to do a few things:

  1. Include God in our daily decisions and plans. He got us into this and He’ll see us through.
  2. Learn about our true history. Don’t let the father of lies steal that from us.
  3. Believe in the future. God controls history, which means that Satan doesn’t have a chance. He may win a battle or two, rig an election or twelve, put his opponents in jail, but he is destined for the Lake of Fire. Check out Psalm 91 and the last chapters of Revelation.
  4. Believe in Christ – He gave His life for us all and has promised to come get us to be with Him.

The future is exciting, let’s fight for it; let’s enjoy it.

Deana Chadwell is an adjunct professor and department head at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. She teaches writing, logic, and literature. She can be contacted at

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