Today’s devotional was written by my son, Clark Wrather, who is the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Broken Bow, Oklahoma.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28.
We have the privilege of living in the greatest country on the planet. Even our poorest citizens, are wealthy by the standards of many third world countries. Yet, we are not immune to the strife and danger that comes with living in a fallen world.
Most of us went to bed Monday night feeling that everything was okay with the world. We felt safe, secure, and protected. The next morning, we woke up to horrific scenes on the news. All of us felt a little shaken when we realized that terrible, terrible things can happen even in our country. All of us know that anything can happen at any time, any where, but we tend to minimize this fact.
People that live in other countries are constantly aware of how uncertain life is. If we lived in Israel, we would live under the constant threat of some kind of bombing. Terrible things tend to occur weekly in that small nation. We are extremely fortunate to live in a country where terrorism is an abnormality.
Some people will wonder why God allows such bad things to happen. These kinds of questions are common to our faith. We know that God is good and loving and has the power to stop these tragic events. Why doesn’t He use His power to keep them from happening? If you have ever had questions similar to this, you are not alone.
There are no easy answers, but I believe we can know with certainty that God loves us and cares about our lives. We know that we are capable of having a meaningful relationship with God. This means that to some degree, human beings have been given the freedom to make decisions. God wants us to freely make a decision to worship Him and honor Him and follow Him in our lives. If we did not have this freedom, we would not be true followers, but a bunch of robots that had been programmed to mindlessly follow God. Our Lord does not want robots, but real relationships with the beings He created.
This freedom to make decisions means that your decisions and actions make the world a better or worse place. Your good decisions spill onto the lives of other people and your bad decisions do as well. At times the bad decisions of other people and the good ones spill into your life, as well. If human beings did not have the God-given freedom to make decisions, we could not have a real relationship with God. If our Lord intervened constantly and interfered with these decisions all the time, we would still be little better than robots. God does not make bad things happen. People do He does give us a promise to someway, somehow, bring something good out of all bad situations.
It is frustrating to see the slow progress in clearing away the rubble and reaching those trapped. It reminds me of the Murrah Building. The WTC is many times over a larger problem with more debris. But I can’t help but wonder if we would do better to emulate the example of some other countries and put two or three thousand of our troops in there to dig with their hands and to pass the buckets as we see so many of the rescue workers doing. I know it would be risky with other buildings weakened which may fall. But is this not war? Is this not life and death to try to rescue those who are perishing? Let us continue to pray.
(There are no easy answers when we are visited by disaster.)