To simply mock and insult Christianity, many atheists would post this kind of picture with an accompanying Bible verse that speaks of blessing.
Such action is obviously because of freewill.
When the Lord created mankind, He gave us freewill to do the things that we want to do.
Adam and Eve had the freedom to reject the enemy’s temptation, but they chose to follow their flesh and gave in to the temptation.
And in the same breadth, we have the freewill to choose to reject God or we can choose to submit to Him and His will.
To put all the blame on God for everything that happens in this world goes against the very essence of freewill.
Freewill does not constitute an understanding of whether we have contributed something for things to happen.
Freewill is full responsibility, not ‘contribution.’
It is not freedom from the responsibility, accountability or repercussions of our actions.
The unfortunate things that happen in this world like war, famine, flash floods, catastrophe, earthquake, and untimely deaths, are direct results of man’s disobedience – unrighteous anger, lust, immorality, greed, bitterness, selfishness, gluttony, pride, and so on and so forth.
This picture paints a thousand words.
I can create my own story why the mother and her child in the remote part of Somalia, Mogadishu, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, or Togo is experiencing this unfortunate event in their lives.
I could say that they probably had the chance to escape the brutality of the dictator but did not grab the opportunity because of weakness or fear.
And since fear crept into their hearts they simply chose to accept their situation.
Did they hear the gospel from a missionary but rejected it because of their religious worldview? I do not know.
But what if they have been strong Christian believers?
Then things could probably be different. Remember Corrie Ten Boom’s story? She who escaped the clutches of death in the gas chambers during the Nazi Holocaust?
How about Brother Yun’s amazing testimony about how he survived torture in the hands of some atheist authorities in China because of his faith?
But due to his relationship with God was delivered from the hands of the enemy.
And how about Hien Pham? A Christian Vietnamese translator who managed to escape the hands of a dictator from his own country.
All three were delivered by God’s sovereign hand because of their faith in Him. I am not saying that these things always happen.
No! I know also of some unfortunate stories when Christian believers suffered death because of their faith God.
You probably heard of the five young married men led by Jim Elliot who died several years ago in Ecuador in the hands of savage tribal men.
Their motive was to help but it was seen differently by the warriors of Quechua Indians who massacred each one of them when their plane immediately landed.
A few years later, the widows and families of these modern-day martyrs went back fulfilling the hampered mission that many of the former head-hunters including their leader became followers of Jesus Christ.
After all, we, Christians, know that what is really important is not our present human body but our spirit that will last for eternity.
I don’t know the faith of this mother in the picture, whether she is a Christian or not.
But what is important is our constant faith in the God of the Bible, in spite of the unfortunate things that happen to us.
And church ministries, who are staying in free and prosperous countries, need to do the things that they can do in sending relief goods, medical support, missionaries, and the Word of God to war torn countries in their native language.
One foreign reporter noticed the difference between a usual NGO and many Christian organizations.
When the former leaves, people were fed but lives were not changed.
However, when missionaries leave, not only are the famine-stricken people fed, but their lives were also transformed because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Let us not judge the character and attribute of God by this one picture.
I will not also judge anyone I know because of an unflattering shot taken by someone to deliberately destroy a person’s reputation.
Let this picture challenge every passionate Christian believer to share the Good News about Jesus Christ to the whole world and disciple them.
Who knows if one day their leaders will become Christian believers?
No one can tell.
If someone took a picture of the apostle Paul while he was going through these things, you might possibly think there is no God.
Five times I was given the thirty-nine lashes by the Jews; three times I was whipped by the Romans; and once I was stoned. I have been in three shipwrecks, and once I spent twenty-four hours in the water. In my many travels I have been in danger from floods and from robbers, in danger from my own people and from Gentiles; there have been dangers in the cities, dangers in the wilds, dangers on the high seas, and dangers from false friends. There has been work and toil; often I have gone without sleep; I have been hungry and thirsty; I have often been without enough food, shelter, or clothing. – 2 Corinthians 11:24-27, GNB
But for him, these things did not matter because his joy is not defined by his present situation and condition, but in Jesus Christ and His presence. In spite of these things that happened to him he can still confess in prison the following words:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. – Phil. 4:4, ESV
Let me conclude this with Joseph’s statement. His brothers maltreated and sold him to the Midianite traders.
He became a slave to a high Egyptian war officer.
He was accused of sexual harassment that put him in prison.
He was forgotten by a cup bearer friend for the next two years.
Yet he did not became bitter over God.
He still forgave his brothers then finally said this encouraging words,
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. – Genesis 50:20-21, ESV
There is a purpose for everything. And it’s all for the glory of God!
(Inset Photo AP / Karel Prinsloo)