Hope for Your Week, episode Las Vegas

Luke and I spent the weekend in, wait up, Las Vegas.

Honestly, it makes me cringe to even admit that, but like I told everyone who needed to know where we were going, it was for work–Luke was speaking at a conference and he sure as heck did not want to spend even one night in Vegas without his wife by his side.

What did I think of the city? I didn’t like it. It a humungous sensory overload for me–can I say lights, noise, smells, sights, everything–it was a far cry from comfortable. Wherever you look there’s something shocking to see, and most of it deeply saddened me.

We made the most of it, enjoyed relaxing days by the pool, saw a few shows and ate pretty good food. All was not lost. But it wasn’t without sadness shining it’s depressing little head in all of it.

Judgment isn’t meant for me, for us, so I don’t think it was us judging everyone else for choosing Sin City as a place of refuge. Although, there were times I had to push down judgment and replace it with compassion.

But seeing people flock to the slot machines in the evening and waking up and seeing them still there in the morning, realizing the pull and tug it has on people, as though they were cattle being led to the slaughter, as though they had no idea where they were going but they were following anyway, was depressing.

There’s just no shame there–it’s the one place where everyone goes for the same thing–gambling, drinking, drugs, sex, the delusion that whatever you do in Vegas will stay there. Not realizing that it’s stripping their souls of integrity and the memory and taste of what was imbibed of there will certainly haunt them for days, and the draw will be that much more enticing.

It’s Satan’s sneaky little trick to slowly draw people away from the light and into darkness.

And to top it all off, our hotel room had a view of none other than Trump Tower, as though it was just mocking us in all it’s fake glory. It definitely produced some political conversation, since we couldn’t even lay by the pool without staring at it.

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At one point, Luke pulled out His iPhone Bible and read the Proverbs, specifically passages about the fool versus the wise, replacing the word fool with the word Trump and read it aloud. You should try it, it’s crazy how much it lines up with reality, y’all. I’m no political activist and avoid these conversations and debates with gusto, but really, when you can replace the word fool with the name of a potential president of the United States, something has gone terribly wrong.

So where do you go from here, from this time in a city I’d rather never end up in again? Where do you send your heart and how do you re-enter the light with hope after walking in a city like that and feeling hopeless for everything you laid eyes on?

I found myself in Psalm 37, remembering that all of this, even the rise of wickedness and the oppression of the wicked, is hugely eternal. If we see it with eternity written all of it, it’s so much easier to bear, and there is hope.

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do nt fret–it only causes harm. (Psalm 37: 7-8)

The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, for He sees that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn the sword and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, to slay those who are of upright conduct. Their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous. (vs. 12-17)

God is certainly not going to abandon, and He will see to it that the wicked be brought to justice–the rise of wickedness, whether it be in your personal life with a wicked and oppressive boss, or on the grand scheme of things with wickedness ruling this world. He is the eternal judge and will not let it go unpunished.

The hard thing is that we don’t want to wait. We want it to cease right now. We want people to see the light of day, to realize when the wicked is rising to the top and to put a stop to it. We want to see evil brought to justice immediately.

But the eternal perspective says, “Not now, but later.” It’s not in our own timing, it’s in God’s timing. And His ways are so much bigger and grander than ours, His timing is perfect, and His eternal plan cannot be thwarted.

The takeaway:
  1. Do not fret.
  2. Have eyes for eternity.
  3. Trust the Lord with all things.
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