Does Jesus Care?
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for He careth for you. (1Pete 5:6-7)
The recent shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland, Texas have wounded the nation and made us all uneasy. We are moved with an indescribable grief and at the same time our own sense of well-being is threatened. Is that the end of this kind of shooting? Deep in our hearts we know that it’s “not over.” No, all the shootings are not over. Between shootings we have an attack with a Home Depot rental truck that killed innocent people walking and riding bicycles.
What is our response to this kind of mental disease that has broken out among us? I dare say that it is the same kind of question that I have witnessed so often at the grave side: DOES JESUS CARE? The song by that title has been one of the most requested songs at funerals. Death has the last word. There is no argument with death.
The larger question is: “Why is there death?” A second question is: “Why is death so early with some?” We are human, and we try to make sense of things that happen to us, including death. Did it have to happen? It is important that we go through this process.
We all have noticed that in funeral homes, the death of an elderly person seems to be a natural thing and the conversation is louder. The death is more easily accepted. But, if a wreck has snuffed out the life of a teenager, the room is a hushed quiet. Something is out of place, unexpected, and overwhelming. It is hard to accept.
Yesterday’s mass shooting at the church in Sutherland, Texas with the death of at least 26 people and the wounding of that many more, brings an even harder question: why did God allow mass murder to take place where God’s people were gathered to worship Him? This is the same question Christians have had to face in other countries where their enemies have locked the church doors and burned the building and the people in it. Africa and eastern countries have experienced mass annihilation of Christian people. Why does God allow these things to happen?
We remember the words Jesus spoke through John in Revelation: Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)
One big problem we have is, this is the only life we know. Since it’s the only life we know, we feel like it’s the only life there is. If we lose this life, we have nothing left. God made us that way, so that we protect ourselves from harm and death. But, God tells us that this is not the only life there is. This is a very short life and God never intended it to be long. It is the dressing room for eternity.
The real life is out there, through the door into Heaven. Life is short. I can remember my age of three, when my Grandpa Carr held me in his lap. His tomb stone shows that I was three when that happened. And now, I’m 83. Life is short, very short.
We cannot bring departed loved ones and friends back from death. But, those who have died in faith of the One who died for us on the cross, we will see again and live with them forever in the presence of the Lamb.
If we are troubled at the arrogance of death, maybe it will help to remember that Jesus’ disciples had this same problem. They were in the little boat with Him when a storm suddenly was upon them and Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat.
And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? (Mark 4:37-40)
That’s the answer to all of us who have a troubled heart over unexpected death and tragedy. We must have faith to believe He is in charge and nothing can happen to us that His watchful eye does not allow. We are not at the mercy of disturbed or evil gunmen.
Some of it He takes care of. Some of it we must take care of. Jesus told His disciples: Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (Luke 22:36) Today’s equivalent to their sword (dagger) would be a hand gun.
I think it’s time that churches, even the small, country churches, think through a security plan to protect their congregations from those who might plan to harm them. We should pray, and we should also listen to Jesus about our security. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
NOVEMBER 7, 2017 - TUESDAY
A.M. Jeremiah 46-48 P.M. Hebrews 4
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verse to Memorize:
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)
Song for Today:
Steal Away to Jesus (Calvary Mem. Quartet)
You may have to adjust the volume.