We are the problem.
Why does a child die days before an expectant mother and father anticipate his birth? Why does a grandfather die before having the opportunity to meet his grandchildren? Why do species become extinct? Why do we live within a constant state of entropy?
We are the problem.
Death was never part of the natural order. Hate was never meant to be. Murder is an abomination. It's all our fault. And until we accept this fact, this life will continue to frustrate us to our core.
Jesus preached a consistant message to anyone who would hear and he told his followers to preach the same message, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."
We love the second part of that message...or do we? We love to fantasize about a place without pain, sorrow and death. We love to talk about mansions, streets of gold and running barefoot through the dewy grass.
But, there is one possible problem for many people. Jesus and His Father are there and its their kingdom. This has been our problem since the earliest of our fathers. Our Creator gives whatever we need and yet we are easily convinced he is holding out on us. We don't trust Him. We don't accept that without Him, utopia is impossible. There must be a better way. We have to take hold of our own destiny.
Our Father warned us. If we choose to go our own way, death and violence will become a perversion of the natural order. If we decide we do not need Him, then we will be on our own. And despite those warnings, each generation and each person at one time or another has decided to stop trusting, to stop loving our Father in Heaven in pursuit of another kingdom that we are convinced will give us what we need.
And, even in the presence of God's own Son, driving out demons and healing many, some wanted Him dead. Some do not want to know Him. Some do not want to love Him. They just want Him to go away. They are just fine. The message to repent is met with apathy, defiance and ridicule.
Who? I don't know. Jesus has turned the hardest hearts toward Him. Only He knows the ones he knows and will know. It's not my place. Life is only possible when I place my life in His care. It is His place, not mine, to give life to those who believe. My only task is to repent, through the entirety of the abundant life given to me, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.
It would be so much easier if I didn't have to know that many will perish; that many will come to the narrow door and be rejected by the Lord of the manor. But to believe that everyone will be saved eventually by His grace is to ignore the very words of the King of kings.
Father, thank you for your grace to me. I haven't always believed you. I haven't always trusted you. I haven't always loved you. But, you have always loved me. Thank you for that good news demonstrated through the life and ministy of your Son Jesus. Amen