Things Fall Apart

Sometimes the worst does happen. Just look at the past week’s headlines:

  • A soldier walked into a military processing center at Fort Hood, Texas, and killed 13.
  • A  church deacon in Fayetteville, N.C., shot and killed his wife and children then turned the gun on himself.
  • A man laid off from an Orlando, Florida, business two years ago returned to kill a former colleague and wound five others.

The worst doesn’t always happen at a distance. I’ve seen it happen to people I know and love:

The runaway came home in a casket. The diagnosis was Alzheimers, and the patient a parent. The wages were garnished, the home lost to foreclosure. The promise child was sent to prison. The limb was amputated.

My mother was the amputee.  She lost her driving leg to gangrene and with it her independence. I cried through three states on the drive home from that vigil. I prayed for divine intervention, but still the leg was lost.

There’s a school of religious thought that says if we love God enough, if we have enough faith, nothing will ever go wrong.  It’s a lie. People who believe this lie never read it in a Bible.

Sure, the Bible includes believers who received their dead raised to life again, their broken health restored, their release from prison.  But others were stoned to death, tortured, beaten and left for dead. Hebrews 11 says all were people of faith — even the ones who received no miraculous deliverance, no sudden healing.

Trouble and tragedy are part of human existence in a fallen world. Christians are not exempt. Christ Himself said, “In this world, you will have trouble.” God is an ever-present Refuge, Shelter, Help and Strength for a reason.  We need Him to be.

Christians are called to live and, if necessary, to die in faith. We won’t always get what we want. When we do, things won’t always turn out the way we imagined. What then? This is the test of faith.

Things do fall apart. The Good News is, we don’t have to.  All things hold together in Him.

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