Monday, January 04, 2010

Panorama of Grace

A lady in Church asked me to pray for a four year old girl yesterday. The girl's name is Charlotte, and she is lying at home with a terminal illness. I asked the lady who made the request how she was praying and she replied that she was not only praying for Charlotte, but that the rest of the family would cope with this hardship.

There is perhaps no human experience that rocks our faith more than the suffering of children. Why does God allow such evil to take place if he has the power to stop it? Explanations are many, and some of them do make me curious. There is one in particular I find intriguing. It is believed that the very brief lives of some children have been cut short by an all -loving, all-merciful and all-powerful God who knows the greater suffering they would have experienced had they lived to see adulthood.

Whatever the truth may be in these situations, it is safe to say that the hope we have as Christians is sometimes all that can sustain us through sorrow. In the Bible, King David comforted himself at the loss of his infant son by looking forward to seeing him again beyond the grave (2 Sam. 12:23). This hope should never be taken for granted, for it is not the hope of all mankind. A growing percentage of those who study philosophy and Evolutionary science do not believe anything awaits us after death. They say we must make the most of this life because it is the only one we shall have. How sad.

Christians refer to the Second Coming of Christ as the Blessed Hope. Indeed, without a living Savior any hope is a fools hope. But we have these words from Jesus in John 14 that push back the darkness of despair:
Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
I strongly believe that someday all our questions will be answered. Indeed, they will not just be answered, they will be answered in such a way that we will praise God for his infinite wisdom and mercy. We may not see it now, but that is to be expected with our limited perspective.  To be sure, it will be a wonderful day when at last we see the panorama of divine grace.

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