My friend, may I ask you a question? As we reflect on the stark and stunning nature of events around us, our minds begins to play with our senses. “You know, that could have been me standing there in that church, looking down the barrel of that pistol, in sight of the blank stare of a man with cold murder in his mind. But for the mere fact that it happened there and not here, that could have been me?”
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
When tragedies happen, do you marvel at their randomness? Seven people are gunned down in a church on a Saturday evening. A young boy of 15 and an old man of 74. The newspaper headline called it “carnage”. The headline ran broad and deep on the front page in a manner usually reserved for “EXTRA” news. As you put the paper down and reflect on the stark and stunning nature of the event, your mind begins to play with your senses. “You know, that could have been you standing there in that church, looking down the barrel of that pistol, in sight of the blank stare of a man with cold murder in his mind. “But for the mere fact that it happened there and not here and that it merely was another church and not mine, that could have been me! That could have been my wife, my child, my parent!” But for the mere fact that it happened in a city miles away and in a church not of your denomination is of little consequence when your mind goes into “merely mode”. It is difficult to escape the thought possessing lock of a brain tuned into the channel of chance. “It was merely an act of carnage that could have happened anywhere and your church is not exempt.”
Here’s a story. There was a man who gave his business to God. He had hassled over it for years. He had wrestled with it and fought it for two decades. One day he decided, ‘I’ve had enough!’ He had heard from his pastor that Sunday morning about the value of turning his entire business over to God. It was when he drove away from church that he decided he had worried enough. By the time he got home, he had totally and unequivocally committed his business to God. That very night his place of business caught on fire. He got an emergency call. He rather calmly drove down to the commercial residence and was standing on the street, watching the place go up in flames. He was sort of smiling to himself. One of his col- leagues raced to his side and questioned his relaxed attitude about what was happening. ‘Man! Don’t you know what’s happening to you? . . . It’s . . . burning up!’ He replied, ‘I know it. I know it. No problem, Fred. This morning I gave this company to God, and if He wants to burn it up, that’s His business’.” (Swidoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations)
How can we understand God’s ways? God had no standard by which He created anything. There was no criterion upon which to base an understanding. God’s standards are His own, always purposeful and totally foreseeing. Everything that happens is interlocked and dependent upon that criterion. There are no accidents or “mere” happenings in God’s order of things. There are no loose ends or “but for’s”. Nothing is “mere” in God’s world as if it were a by-product of something else. All things happen for a purpose in God’s scheme of things, even murders in a church. When we understand this, it becomes easier to focus on Him, placing all things in His hands. In that way nothing that happens is without purpose. God is sovereign over all things, even those things that seem of a random nature. That is why our mode of thought ought always to be anchored in trust, not chance.
We pray. Heavenly Father, when bad things happen in this world and in our lives it is easy for us to wonder why. When we question your providence or stray from our trust in You to control all things for good, forgive us, Lord and remind us through Your Holy Spirit that we should be still and know You are the Lord. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<email@example.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.