And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Sammie Wallace was a disturbed and mentally-ill individual.
Recently, that illness came to a head when, in Midwest City, Oklahoma, Wallace reached into the cart of a young mother, picked up her baby, and held a knife to the child's throat. While the mother was pleading for her daughter's life, Wallace started walking away.
Pastor Terry Parker blocked his path.
Using his cart and body as a barricade, the preacher stopped Wallace from making an escape. It was a decision that might have had tragic consequences. Wallace might have turned his attentions from the child to the adult, who was blocking his way.
That might have happened, but it didn't.
What did happen was this: Pastor Parker's delaying tactics gave the police time to arrive and talk to Wallace. It was only when Wallace began a countdown, which he said would end in the death of the child, that the negotiator took a point blank shot and killed Wallace.
Now let me ask, if you had been Pastor Parker, what would you have done that day?
Remember, you only have a second to make your decision.
Although I can't hear your responses, I have to believe there are many different, well-intentioned and reasonable points of view. That's understandable because in this situation the Bible is silent, and you have no guarantee that what you are doing will end up positively.
This is why we should listen carefully to what the Lord said to us through St. Paul. In Romans 8:28, the apostle says, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose."
What that means is this: God is in control, and He has the authority and ability to fix that which humanity does.
Indeed, doing just that is His specialty. When Adam and Eve sinned and brought corruption to His perfect universe, God stepped in and -- in the Person of His Son -- made things right. Now, because of the Savior's sacrifice all who believe on Him have their sins forgiven and are blessed with hope, peace, joy and an eternity in heaven.
Now if the Lord has managed to fix up that sinful catastrophe, I imagine He can take care of those times when our bumbling has not worked out as well as we had hoped or intended.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You are in control, and we are not. Grant us direction and wisdom to do that which is right and, when we do wrong, correct us and our errors. In Jesus we ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries