As the survivors of a major train wreck were being interviewed, a man that came out unscratched was asked a series of questions based on a common assumption. His response reflected my perspective and experience. My paraphrase of the conversation follows.
“Are you a man of faith?”“Yes.”“Do you think God protected you during the wreck?”“I do not think God protected me anymore or less than anyone else. I was fortunate. Others were not. God cares about all of us.”
Spiritual salesmen and women often attach the prosperity, good luck, and hope with the acceptance of their view of God. Life will be easier if you accept their view. Financial security will come your way when you adopt their way of thinking. Divinity's blanket of protection will extend your way as your embrace the theology and way of living. Regardless of the fine print, there is a clear link between our behavior and expressed beliefs and God's protection.
I have two comments and an observation. Bad and good things happen to those that are God followers as well as those who are not. I have not found automatic barriers or invitations to the events that unfold in our lives.
The God I know is not behind catastrophic events. At times, the events seem to be an outcome of human choice. On other occasions, the only source I can identify is Evil. For example, when at “this time Saul was breathing down the necks of the Master's disciples, out for the kill” (Acts 9.1), God was not behind him! My God does not endorse or condone behavior that destroys, hurts, or eliminates hope.
When individuals are hurt, we as part of the family and community are hurt. What happens to another is part of our life as well. The question, with each event, is one of solidarity and action. Will we exercise compassion? Will we delivery mercy and love? Will we be carriers of hope? The answers to these questions tell a story we should pay attention to. It is today's opportunity within the family.
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