According to ODB contributer Jennifer Benson Schuldt:
The Chicago River is unusual because it flows backward. Engineers reversed its direction over a century ago because city-dwellers were using it as a dump. Dishwater, sewage, and industrial waste all funneled into the river, which emptied into Lake Michigan. Since the lake supplied drinking water for the city, thousands grew sick and died before city authorities decided to redirect the river to flow backward, away from the lake.
Is the direction of your life making you sick? If engineers can change the direction of the Chicago River, then surely God can help you turn things around. In fact, that's why Jesus came into this world. At the beginning of His ministry Jesus said, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free" (Luke 4:18). Are you spiritually impoverished; in need of guidance; in need of a change of direction? Do you suffer in bondage to sinful impulses? Why continue on the same course? Turn and follow Jesus.
"So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God" (Mark 6:10, NLT).
I recently heard from another pastor that a big part of the word “mothers” is “others,” which makes sense because mothers always think about others. But then another pastor pointed out that if you take the “s” off of mothers, and put it at the beginning, you get the word “smother,” which, depending on who you ask, can also sometimes seem valid, especially if you would have asked us in our teenage years.
Moms don't usually try to smother their children. They want to protect us, but sometimes we misunderstand their efforts.
Jesus felt the same way for the Jewish people. Just days before He was crucified, Jesus said:
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37)
Jesus longed for them to believe, but they weren’t willing. From the cross, Jesus prayed:
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34 ESV)
You see, I think that Jesus has unceasing anguish (Romans 9:2) for every unbeliever, as long as they remain in unbelief, just as God desires for everyone to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
During the meeting of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, one of the members moved “that the standing army be restricted to no more than 5000 men at any one time.”
George Washington, being the chairman, could not offer a motion, but he turned to another member and whispered [sarcastically], “Amend the motion to provide that no foreign enemy shall invade the United States at any time with more than 3000 troops."
As Christians, we find ourselves engaged in a great, cosmic battle for souls. We can know the strategy of the enemy. We can study his tactics. We can see what he does in the lives of others and we can see the path of destruction that is left in the lives of those who follow him. What we cannot do is control him.
But we can put on the whole armor of God so that we are prepared for the fight.