The boy’s father once saw him sitting close to a fire. “Don’t sit too near the fire, son, you could get hurt.” The little boy looked at his father and moved closer. The fire burned his fingers and scorched his arms. “Why did you let this happen?” The boy angrily shouted at his father. Another time the father noticed his son climbing higher and higher up the trunk of a tall tree. “Don’t go so high, son,” his father called, “you could get hurt.” The boy looked at his father and climbed higher. He lost his grip and fell to the ground breaking his arm. “Why did you let this happen?” The boy angrily shouted at his father. The boy began to spend time with other boys who constantly got into trouble. His father noticed and said, “Be careful who you choose for friends, son, you could get hurt.” The boy laughed at his father and spent even more time with these friends. In time the boy was caught breaking into a store. He was arrested and ended up in jail. “Why did you let this happen?” The boy angrily shouted at his father.
As an American I relate this story to this country of my birth, but it can be attributed to many situations and places. Our Father God, upon whose concepts America was founded gives us many warnings, urging us to take care or we could get hurt. Instead of honoring His instructions, we have ignored them. We have taken prayer out of school, insisted the ten commandments be taken out of our court rooms, refuse prayer at football games and other community events, and attempt to close the mouths of those who want to speak His words.
Then, when shootings take place in our schools where we told God He was no longer allowed, we shout angrily, “why God did you let this happen? When the numbers of prisoners increase when we have taken down the laws of God in society, we angrily shout, “Why God did you let this happen?” When violence erupts in public places where we have attempted to shut the mouths of everyone who would pray or speak in the name of God, we shout in great anger, “Why, God, did you let this happen?”
In His eternal love and patience, God says to us in Joel 2:13, “Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead. Return to the Lord your God for He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
There is always hope — when we invite our Father to come into the situation.
A poignant word for our respective nations. We must stop fire-fighting and face the challenge of why things are happening. Better to erect a fence at a cliff edge than send an ambulance to collect the bodies at the bottom of the cliff. Thank you.