"Please pray for the Cretzmans, our missionary family to Cuba. They were at our church last October. They are still on deputation and had a car accident this morning. They lost their little 3 year old girl Azlynn. Please take a moment right now to pray for them... :'("
When I read about the Cretzmans, my heart immediately sank. I do not know them personally, but I heard they were leaving shortly for missions work in Cuba. In addition to their 3-year-old being killed in the car accident, Mrs. Cretzman was in a coma and her legs have been severely crushed. She has yet to be told about her daughter's passing.
Tragedies like this . . . they feel so unnatural. So wrong. I shake my head and am struck with the terribleness of it all. I am weighted by the deeper, underlying message; the reminder these things feel so unnatural and feel so wrong because they are.
This is not creation as God designed it. This is not what He called, "very good". Death, pain, sickness, grief: they are the billows of smoke that rise from man's simmering rebellion against God. Because we have broken God's laws, "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." (Romans 8:22-23)
How wonderful it will be when Creation is restored to the way God desires and intended it to be! . . . But why does He wait? Why does God allow this curse to affect so traumatically the lives of people He loves, people we love? If God is loving, why, why does He allow so much pain?
The answer is in the question. He waits because He is loving. Our pain is consequence of our our own sin, but God has not only provided a way of escape, He patiently withholds judgement on those who have not yet repented, that they might have a change of mind. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (II Peter 3:9) Every moment you and I have on earth is an undeserved and unguaranteed chance to repent and share the Gospel before it is too late. The curse is a symptom of a much deeper problem: our rebellion against God. We sit vulnerable under the hammer of His justice and -- He waits.
God longs for His people to turn again to Him! For there is indeed a day when the time is passed for repentance. He waits, but not indefinitely; mercy does not deny justice, it delays it. There is a last name that will be penned in the Book of Life and never again will we have the chance to share our faith with an unbeliever, because in Heaven and in Hell, everyone will be a believer. Every knee will bow.
Please, pray for the Cretzman family. Their work on the mission field expresses their desire for souls to be saved and for God to be glorified! Pray that God would take that desire and greatly multiply their effectiveness and impact for the Kingdom of Heaven through this unforeseen trial.
Therefore be ye also ready:
for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Labels: PRAYER, SALVATION, TRIALS