We have been living in tumultuous times lately, in this country and in the world. We have been struggling with issues such as:
- North Korea aggression
- A new, even more divisive level of partisan bickering
- A distrust of government and politicians
- Widespread revelations and accusations of sexual misconduct by powerful people
- Another deadly and senseless mass school shooting
- Russian interference in American politics
The recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., has parents, students, teachers, and the general public outraged and demanding something be done to prevent another tragedy. I don’t even want to imagine being in their shoes.
In discussions that are taking place around the country, including at the White House yesterday, people are considering the need for armed school guards, armed teachers, greater awareness of mental illness, raising the minimum age to purchase a gun, banning certain types of guns, and the list goes on.
What is missing from the debate?
I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that God called Billy Graham home to be with Him during these times we live in. Born in 1918, Graham spent the vast majority of his life serving Jesus Christ and working hard to win souls for Him.
Billy Graham wasn’t perfect. No man is, has been, or ever will be—except for Jesus Christ. But Graham, a North Carolina farm boy, faithfully fulfilled his mission to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. And thank God for that!
As Graham taught for decades, God desires for us to be in close relationship with him. After all, He created us. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells us that God knows the number of hairs on our head. He understands our struggles and because we cannot do anything to save ourselves, He sent his Son “to give his life as a ransom for many,” according to the Gospel of Matthew.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” – Jeremiah 1:5
Billy Graham is not held in high esteem by so many people because he preached, although praise God he did! He is highly regarded because he believed what he taught, he practiced what he preached, and his obedience to the Lord no doubt brought salvation to countless souls around the world.
In response to the shooting at the high school in Parkland, Dr. Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, said “Wherever God is removed, chaos will fill that space.”
No matter which laws or how many laws are passed in the wake of Parkland, evildoers will somehow, some way once again find a way to harm innocent lives. So, again I ask, what—or rather Who—is missing from the debate?
Christ died and rose victoriously over death to be the Center of our lives. Perhaps we should allow Him to be in the Center in our efforts to defeat evil—because He already has!
Perhaps Billy Graham’s departure from this world is timed just right by the Creator of time, to remind all of us of the truths he preached from God’s Word. We need to hear and respond to those truths now just as much as we ever have.