You see a child step out onto thin ice and you do not warn the child. Are you responsible for the child breaking through the thin ice and getting wet? Do not complicate the issue with all kinds of legal questions. Just address the simple issue: if you have the power to prevent something bad from happening and you allow it to happen, are you responsible for it happening?

Think of all of the bad things that are happening all over the world, the bad things that are happening in our community and in our individual lives, all of them beyond our control to influence.

No matter how hard we try to prevent them, they happen. God is almighty, all powerful. Think of all the miracles Jesus did, raising the dead, healing the sick and stopping the storm. Every miracle correcting a condition that God could have prevented.

Shall we boycott God, reject Him, refuse to listen to Him and to have anything to do with Him? That would be perilous. Better to lay aside our judgmental and prosecutorial intentions, lay a finger on our lips and listen to Him. “Though He causes grief yet He will have compassion according to the abundance of His steadfast love.” Words found in Lamentations 3:22.

The eternal God, the almighty God, is without a doubt in control of everything that happens. Remember the words of Jesus about a sparrow falling to the ground only with the Father’s permission, and every hair on our head being counted.

Yes, God could prevent every bad thing from ever happening. However He could do that only by taking away choice. Would you like to go through the next hour without making one choice?

From the beginning of time, choice has been possible and people make choices that hurt themselves and others. Grief happens.

And the steadfast love of God moves Him to have compassion and do what is good so that you and I can endure the grief that comes into our life by our own fault or by the fault of others.

In His compassion God gave his only begotten Son to give us peace in our grief, to give us love in our loneliness, to give us all that is good in this life and joy in the everlasting life.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Elmer Schiefer
Pastor, Family of Christ Lutheran Church