A couple lost their little two-year old son when a truck backed out of a neighbor’s drive and ran over him. In the midst of their sorrow and broken hearts, they were “comforted” by the those who told them that their son’s death was “the will of God.” Can you imagine the feelings this statement would cause them to have toward God?
A young mother and two of her children are killed when a drunken driver crosses over to their side of the road and crashes into them. “Friends” tell the husband and other family members, “It was the will of God.”
With such friends, we don’t need enemies, as someone observed. How dare we lay such senseless tragedies at the feet of God? Surely, much of what happens in our world is contrary to the will of God. Before the flood there was such wickedness that God was sorry he had made man, and “it grieved Him to his heart.” (Genesis 6:5-6). Paul observed that man turned from God to become filled with every kind of malice, evil and depravity (Romans 1:28ff).
Why does an all-powerful God allow these occurrences? In making man as free moral beings, he gave us power and ability to choose good –as well as evil, to love — as well as hate. He allows our world to stand for another day because he is “longsuffering toward us, not wanting anyone to perish, but for everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). Finally, when Jesus returns, the wicked will be cast into the fiery lake of Sulphur and the righteous will be taken home to be with God and be with him forever (ESV – Revelation 21:1-8).
Until that time, may we not add to the heavy burdens others may be facing from tragedy by throwing the blame for their difficulties on God!
Larry Locke – College Street Bulletin Lebanon TN
IN THE BACKYARD DYING
Oh, that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! (Deuteronomy 32:29)
“Several years ago, I was holding a meeting in a Texas city. A family I was visiting one day told me an interesting story about their twin sons. They came to their mother and asked, ‘What is death?’ She explained, ‘Death is something that is a natural part of life. People get old and die.’
“A couple of weeks later the boys were in the yard working with their father. He was using muscles that had been out of service for some time. Once, when he raised up, he let out a loud groan. His sons questioned, “What’s wrong, daddy?’ His reply was, ‘I’m getting old.’
“When they went into the house, Mother asked, ‘What’s daddy doing?’
“They said, ‘He’s out in the back yard dying.”
“When you think about it their answer was correct. We’re always dying.
“Since this is true and we never know the time when the dying process will be complete, it is good to always be ready.
“To be ready to die, I need to be right with the Lord. Paul was able to write, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
“The reason Paul was able to say this was that Paul was living his life in the Lord. John relates this principle: “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ “Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.’” (Revelation 14:13).
“To be ready to die, I need to be right with other people. Jesus taught this with a sense of urgency: ‘Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.’ (Matthew 5:24).
“The time to prepare to die is while we are living.
“When you think about it, probably all of us have been in the back yard dying this week!!!”
Jerrie Barber – Central Church of Christ 8 13, 1987
WORLD’S GREAT FOOL
“A great king once awarded his favorite jester a golden sash inscribed with the words, ‘World’s Greatest Fool.’ The clown received the honor because he delighted the king with his antics. He was told, however, that if he ever found a greater fool than himself, he should turn the sash over to that man.
“Many years later, the great king lay dying. As his sorrowing subjects came by to say a final word, the old jester appeared. ‘Where are you going, my king?’ he asked. ‘I am going on a long journey,’ replied the king. ‘Will you ever return?’ questioned the clown? ‘No, I am leaving forever,’ answered the king. ‘Have you prepared for your journey?’ was the last question of the jester. ‘I have made no preparation,’ answered the king. With that the jester sadly handed the king his golden sash. With tears streaming down his cheeks, he told the dying king, ‘You are going on a final journey, a journey from which you will never return; and you have made no preparation. You, O king, are the world’s greatest fool.”
“All of us are soon to embark on a great journey which will lead us to the shores of eternity. It is a journey from which we can never return. In view of this, Jesus said, ‘“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.’ Surely, life’s most foolish mistake is to neglect to prepare for death,
Ron Stough, Pennsville. OH