I can remember hearing as a small child predictions of the end of the world.
Once, a visiting preacher at our church said he thought the world would end in the lifetime of the youngest member there. I pestered my mother with all kinds of questions, and I remember her telling me that no one really knew when the end would come, that it was no doubt a long way off yet, and I would probably be an old woman before it happened. In other words, it was doubtful it was going to happen at that very minute or even that day.
When you are 8 or 9, you basically think in terms of the present or very near future anyway, so that pretty much satisfied me at the time.
However, recent tragedies such as the Columbine school, California day care, Fort Worth church and the recent Oklahoma school shootings as well as other similar events just about have me convinced that this old world is not going to be around too much longer. Sometimes, I picture?and this is just my opinion here?a God that is growing very tired of such inhumanity, and, much like a weary parent who has tried to be patient with the misdeeds of His offspring, He just may be ready to ground the whole bunch of us as only He can.
I am not a theologian by any means. God knows, I have way more questions than answers to any of this. Like most of you, I have wondered why certain events occur. It has always been hard for me to understand how a loving God could allow wars, children to be abused and killed, young people to die, the innocent to suffer.
But then I remember that no where does the Bible promise us another Garden of Eden on earth. We forfeited our right to that paradise when Adam and Eve got kicked out. Since then, we have been allowed to make our own decisions, foolish and sinful as they may be. No longer does God play the over protective parent. Like most human parents, He lets His children make their own mistakes, and sometimes, as parents well know, there are tragic results.
So many of us get frustrated because God does not step in and perform the miracles we want Him to. And because He doesn’t, we think there are no miracles at all. But I have come to believe that there are miracles every day. We just have to look for them.
I believe one of His miracles occurred recently not far from here, just across the Red River. It might seem a small thing, but not all miracles are accompanied by the sound of trumpets.
I am sure you read about the little boy with cerebral palsy who wanted to play soccer, but because he would have to utilize a special walker, he was told he couldn’t play.
His parents took the case to the state supreme court, and won. He was allowed to play in the last game of the season.
Because some people cared enough about one little child – his parents, friends, teammates, and a judge in Oklahoma City – one child got the thrill of his lifetime. Now, granted, every goal that little boy sets out to accomplish in life may not be reached. But he has seen first hand what patience, persistence, love and compassion can do.
And yes, there are still some who say he shouldn’t have been allowed to play, that special privileges were given and rules broken. Maybe so. But do you suppose God’s Son let rules stop Him? If anything, the Bible has taught me that rules were never an obstacle when something was right. And the miracle here you ask? It wasn’t that the child was allowed to play. No, the miracle to me was the compassion expressed by all those people. Compassion is an emotion I feel is sorely missing among many of us these days. We are so consumed with our own wants and needs that we too often forget about those less fortunate, less able, less qualified.
“Do it unto the least of these” He said.
And perhaps the biggest miracle is He still offers us plenty of opportunities to do just that.
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