Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
"They Went with Him"
May 21, 2013
(Jesus said) ... "Let the children come to Me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And He took them in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands on them. Mark 10:14b-16
I don't much like death. Understand, I'm not particularly afraid of him, but I sure don't like him.
That's especially true when he shows up like he did on Monday in Moore, Oklahoma. You've seen how he arrived cloaked in a 200 mph wind, which tossed oil tankers as if they were empty beer cans, knocking down concrete block walls, and erasing brick homes. We've seen the video of how death frustrated the efforts of teachers who did their best to protect the children entrusted to them, and how he broke the hearts of parents who -- when they gave their children a hug and kiss at the beginning of the day -- never thought it would be the last their child would receive from them ... at least in this world. No, none of us like it when death comes so powerfully, so capriciously, so without purpose.
But the main reason I don't like death when he comes this way is because when people try to make sense of the tragedy, they often end up blaming the Lord. They think God is cruel because He didn't use His omnipotence to stop the calamity. They feel God is heartless to snuff out the lives of children and make their parents miserable. They say, "It is God's will because nothing ever happens without God's approving nod."
If you have ever felt or said any of those things about the Divinity, I'd like to set the record straight.
To do that I would like to give you an idea, a simple sentence to hold on to when death comes and things no longer make sense. That single line is this: God loves children more than anyone else.
As proof, I submit this: while parents give their children life, God bestows eternal life on all who believe. While good parents make sacrifices for their children's future, God sacrificed His own Son so children might have eternal life. The Gospels show us how the Father allowed His perfect, innocent Son to die for our little ones. In His life on the cross and, most of all, at the empty and open tomb of Resurrection Sunday, Jesus broke the stranglehold of death. Because the Savior lives, those who know and acknowledge Him as their Rescuer, their Redeemer, will also live.
That is the truth of Christianity.
So let's apply that to Moore, Oklahoma, and to your own situation, if there be such a need. On Monday, when the wind came howling, when the debris was flying, when the walls were crumbling, Jesus came to His children, extended His nail-pierced palm and said, "Here, take My hand. Let Me get you away from this scary place. Let Me take you to be where the sun doesn't burn, the wind doesn't whip, and your hands never freeze when you play in the snow."
And so it was. Before the tornado had stopped, before the search dogs came, before the debris around them was moved, the children trustingly took Jesus' hand and went with Him -- just as, someday their parents and you and I will do. They went to spend eternity with Jesus, the One who loves them best, the One who has made a place where death is not allowed to come.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, when things are hard and no longer make sense, may we remember just how much You love us and what You have done to save us. Then, remembering, may we be comforted by Your grace and goodness. This I pray in the Name of Jesus who loves me best of all. Amen.