“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” –Mark Twain
It was one of those regular summer nights in our house. Michael was out of town, but the rest of us were home together which really doesn’t happen too often anymore. We had some music playing and Louie was in the den building a Lego masterpiece to go alongside his fort. There was a maze of blankets and pillows everywhere that allowed him to be incognito. Paisley and Eddie were upstairs doing…well whatever it is that teenagers to upstairs. And, I was taking full advantage of everyone being completely and utterly occupied and decided to make an actual dinner. I mean the whole thing. Not just the main dish, but sides, too! Trust me, that is a big deal in our house since I’m the queen of the incomplete dinner…especially when Michael is gone. I mean, come on, who said cereal can’t be a meal?
Just as I’m finishing up the last touches of dinner, Eddie yells from upstairs for me to turn on the television. He says there has been another terrorist attack. I hear the thumps of their feet plopping down the stairs and we turn on the TV. We all just stare at the glow of the screen and the images that are being flashed. It happens so often it seems we all know the drill. We listen to the details like the death tolls, those injured and those claiming responsibility. We find ourselves standing in this type of fog. We know that somewhere across the ocean life has changed for hundreds of people and their families. And, while time has stopped for others, we are allowed to continue living for some reason. It’s always this strange kind of sadness when something like this happens. You know, trying to understand the “why” of it all.
We kept the television on during dinner (yes, sometimes we do that, but not all the time). And, after we prayed for all those involved with the attack, Louie looked up at me with that innocent face all squished and pensive. He tilted his head like a puppy trying to understand a command and asked, “Why was I born now? It seems like a really bad time to be alive.”
I totally get it. It does seem like a really bad time to be living, doesn’t it? I mean, it’s not like sin is a new concept. It’s been going on since the beginning of time. But, our world is smaller now. We know what’s going on everywhere, sometimes even while it’s going on. It can be overwhelming for a seasoned adult, but I can only imagine what it feels like for a child. For a moment, I felt really low. I thought about how unfair it all was. I didn’t grow up thinking that going to the mall or a concert could be deadly decision. But, I know the world has changed and we all have to think about new realities.
I looked down at Louie while he sat patiently waiting for me to answer him (that doesn’t happen too often, really). I petted his blonde head, and I told him that God wanted him to be born at this exact time. He wanted him to be present during all of these events because God knew that Louie would be able to make a difference. What is that difference? Who knows? Maybe it’s to bring hope to dozens of people, or maybe just one. Either way, we are here this very moment and instead of dreading it, I wanted Louie to feel empowered. He listened to my answer, sat up a little straighter, and said, “Well, that makes sense.” Yes it does, Louie.
It is so easy to get overwhelmed at the world around us. These times seem so out of control and chaotic. But, if we step back from it all and really think about what role we play in it all, we can find so much purpose. Our God is sovereign. He handpicked us to be alive during these days. US! It could’ve been anyone else, but nope, he chose you and me. What an amazing time to have an impact for the Kingdom!! People are grasping for direction and in desperate need for a Savior. We have the amazing opportunity to show the world how lovely He is. We have the honor to speak the name of Christ to those who are starving on the crumbs that the world offers, and we can show them their seat at the King’s table.
There’s no need to slouch our shoulders and hang our heads. Grab on to your God-given purpose and be bold. Our time is now.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:12-17