Well, well, well.
Just kidding. I have a lot of serious stuff on my mind and thought I'd just lighten myself up a bit! Our sweet cousin Sara (who I just got to see at the baby shower I went to this past weekend) was pregnant, 16 weeks at the shower. About 16 months ago, she gave birth at 38 weeks (I think) to a Trisomy 18 baby who had passed away in utero. This past Tuesday she had an ultrasound, and they couldn't find a heartbeat. Her baby boy was delivered a few days later. Knot in the cord.
Yesterday they found the body of a young man who had gone missing on the Kalamazoo River on May 21 or 22. He and his friends were "celebrating that the Rapture hadn't taken place." They were tubing down the river, his friends lost sight of him, and he wasn't a good swimmer.
Before I go on, let me just say I certainly wouldn't want to be Harold Camping on Judgement Day.
The number of tornadoes on record so far this year is more than ever recorded in history. And we're not done yet. The known death toll (not counting the missing) is higher than the last NINE years of tornadic fatalities. I had a cousin whose wife was killed. He's all of 33 and left to raise 4 children on his own. The tsunami in 2006. The earthquake in Haiti in 2010. The earthquakes in Japan in 2011. I am not a "The End Is Near, The Sky Is Falling" person. But when the writing is on the wall, the writing is on the wall. SO much suffering.
Anyway. We've all asked the questions: why do bad things happen to good people? Why do evil people seem to prosper? Well, the answer is this: life is unfair and sometimes it really stinks. Yup. No deep theological debate. God created man. He gave us free will (who would want a relationship with a robot?) Man screwed up. We're paying the price. This earth is broken and dying.
Romans 8:20-23 (NLT): "Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us."
Let me add a personal footnote: Hallelujah for the new body!!!! Mine is DONE.
Mark 13:7-10 NKJV: For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations."
The reason I make it through every day is because I know that there is a God in Heaven. Jesus has gone before me to prepare a place in His Kingdom...for ME. And I will be perfect. And there will be no tears. No sorrow. No crying. NO PAIN. Just perfection. Think about that today, will you? And try to encourage someone with that Hope.