– Monday Muse –
Dear One, I was standing at the kitchen sink. The top-of-the-hour news had just come on the radio. What I heard took my breath away. I slumped, bent over the counter, rested my head on my arms, and tried to overcome the impact of a traumatizing blow. The local broadcast told of the arrest of a respected Christian man. I knew him. We had often talked about worship, faith, and discipleship. I was impressed with his heart for God.
Weakened by grief, I could not move. The allegation dealt a deathblow. Visions of death whirled around me, and penetrated my being. It was not physical death for which I grieved, it was for the spiritual…the worst of the two. For when earthly bodies are shed, our spirits reside in only one of two places…heaven or hell…each place eternal. Difficult to conceive, but in the long run, more difficult not to.
Tragically, many people with a budding faith, who heard of the arrest, will turn away from God, others will decide to never seek Him out. Oh the horror of it. For Scripture states, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart,” Jeremiah 29:13. For many who heard the seeking will cease.
After regaining some composure, my concerns turned to the man and his family. After some thought, I felt compelled to write the following note to our small group Bible study:
“After yesterday’s reported arrest, I am sure that we are all in a state of grief. According to what I have heard, and read, life for the accused must have been a long horrific battle between serving God and giving into evil. The details would lead us to believe that evil has won – that the battle is over. But let us sympathize with the accused, and honor our Holy Father by battling for future spiritual victories for him, and for the support and comfort of his family. For “…we wrestle not against flesh and blood…” Ephesians 6:12.”
The ever spreading story, true or not, will move like a poisonous wake destroying any resemblance to the example of Christ and His teachings. But if Christians purpose to example God’s teachings on hating sin, while loving the sinner, a river of good can flow from this heartbreaking catastrophe. And maybe some of those who have turned away, will return, while others begin their search. It is said that Christians are known for shooting their wounded. Let us do all we can to change such thinking.”
Thankfully, God does not shoot the wounded. If we turn to Him, God, the Healer of the broken hearted, provides a way for us. He gives each of us the opportunity, while paying the consequences for our actions, to repent, change, and discover His purpose for our lives.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and
whose hope is the Lord.” Jeremiah 17:7
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