“When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” Matthew 11:2. “Lord…if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:21. “Where is the God of justice?” Malachi 2:17.
It has been a rough couple of days since the Connecticut shooting as the reality of last Friday unfolds. Even the most faithful Christian questions the senseless and seemingly random act of one mentally ill individual. We are not the first generation to question God…His ways…His allowances…His goodness…His love. When John the Baptist was rotting away in prison, reports of Jesus healing, serving and hanging around with sinners became a reality that made him question the very deity of God. John had surrendered his entire life for the message of a coming Messiah. He forewent the normal life and chose living in the desert with the sole purpose in life being the trumpet announcing God’s son sent to save man. Even Martha, one of Jesus’s best friends questioned His delay in coming to her side.
We have all been devastated by news in our individual families. What we felt collectively over the weekend is being felt individually in our own families as illnesses strike, children rebel, and spouses betray. We live out our Christian faith with the erroneous belief that we might be immunized against heartbreak and suffering because we are children of God. We cry to God when tragedy strikes, Are you the one who was to come because you didn’t. Our heart screams, we were expecting you and yet you turned away.
There was another woman whose life was devastated as she watched her little boy suffer at the hands of insanity – Mary, mother of Jesus. As He laid breathless thanks to evil men, she must have recounted the days little Jesus sat around their family table. Her heart must have broken as memories of shared religious celebrations such as Passover flooded her mind. The brutal truth she could never escape was that her baby’s life was cut way too short. But in the spiritual realm Heaven saw the big picture and knew that this little boy’s life was ordained and created to redeem all of mankind. There was spiritual significance in the suffering of this young man that would usher in the passage for all of us to reunite with our precious loved ones one day.
Last Friday will never make sense in the earthly realm but we must be called to live in the spiritual realm with a heavenly focus. Any focus short of eternity will cause us to question the very character of God and Satan will have a good day. We must all stand shoulder to shoulder proclaiming God’s goodness and recounting His past faithfulness in response to evil in the world. We must remember that God did not create evil and sin, but rather sent His remedy to Satan’s cancer – Christ Jesus. We must remember that when Satan’s sends evil, suffering and tragedy, God will turn it into something purposeful and meaningful. Friday's tragedy was an attack on God's people from evil intending irreversable devastation. But ironically those same people will turn to God whether in anger, despair or grief...but they will turn to God in ways they have never known.
“You intended to harm…but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Gen. 50:19.
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