|The Parable of the Persistent Widow - Unknown|
"The time is coming where you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man."
Truer words were never spoken.
Why do bad things happen to good people? It's a profound question. It's a stated reason for many people not to believe the Living God. It's a question that the Bible has been asking for thousands of years. One of the reasons I listen to the Bible, that I appreciate God's Word, is it deals with reality. He doesn't flinch from it. He doesn't sugar coat it. He looks it square in the eye and explains how we can wisely live within the reality of our world.
It makes me itchy whenever I hear Western Christians lament that things are getting worse. Really? When one studies history, it does not take very long to read about injustice.
Do we truly believe that African-Americans long for the "good old days"? Do single women trapped in a feudal system or without voting rights long for the "good old days"? Do indigenous peoples of any colonised nation remember past times with the same affection we conquerors do?
In our day, in this age of information, some injustices still go under the radar and some are meant to be seen. We can see men, women (after they have been raped) and children being brutally murdered simply for professing faith in Jesus. We see hundreds of people killed as two jets are deliberately slammed into the World Trade Center. We anxiously follow hostages being terrorised in a non-Halal cafe which ends in the death of the cafe manager and a young barrister trying to protect others. Millions of unborn children are slaughtered in what should be the safest place because they are imperfect or inconvenient. We complain about houses being harder to vacuum because they are too big while a little girl has to walk for kilometres so she can bring back clean water to her family.
Injustice is the great proof against evolution. From Cain onward, it has always been part of our history. For thousands of years, the blood of innocents has always been crying from the ground to our Father in heaven.
Yesterday, after one of our church leaders made a comment about the silver lining in the Christian persecution in Iraq was reports that many were still giving their lives to Jesus, I stupidly remarked prior to my fill-in sermon that maybe we shouldn't pray that we would not undergo persecution because it might help the church in our nation. Meanwhile, there was a young woman with murdered family members, who had been raped and spent years in a refugee camp listening. Anyone who would make a flippant remark about maybe having to undergo injustice to help one's faith, certainly doesn't know the painful experiences she has gone through.
Paul writes, "The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."
Our Father in heaven looks at a world that has rejected him and is justly angry at the injustices we perform on one another. And yet, he throws perpetrators like me a lifeline. He gave his son over to the ultimate injustice. The one who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God.
The greatest victim in the history of the world who will one day become the just conqueror and take his rightful place among us wants us to keep praying for justice. If the King of kings and the Lord of lords wants us to keep praying and not give up, then we need to keep praying and not give up.
Thank you, Jesus.