Deeply troubled by the Kelsey Smith kidnapping and murder, I found myself asking Yahweh, "Why?" Now, I wasn't demanding an answer. I know He doesn't owe me one, but some things are just too difficult to digest and you need some help understanding. Like, how does an 18 year old girl get abducted from a Target parking lot, forced into her own vehicle and murdered by a stranger at only 7:10pm?
As a woman, it makes you feel very vulnerable. As a mother of a child the same age, it makes you sick to your stomach to imagine the pain of her own parents.
So, I just needed a little consolation from my Father. I wondered if Kelsey's parents knew Him? If they knew Yahushua as their Savior? If they prayed every day for her safety and protection? I wondered these things, because I wondered if my own prayers to this regard would be honored. He says that He'll never leave us or forsake us and that He is our helper, so we can boldly say we need not fear man (Hebrews 13:5,6). And then this happens.
Understand, I'm not saying that Elohim failed or that His word isn't true. I believe Him no matter what appearances may look like. I trust Him. There's just so much that I don't understand, but then again, who am I that I should feel entitled to understand? He owes me no explanations for why He does...or allows...what He does.
I pondered and prayed on this most of the night last night. Then it occurred to me that there are powers of darkness in this world and that the Most High Elohim allows them a certain amount of leeway. That's just the way it is. Bad stuff is gonna happen. It's gonna happen to innocent people. Even beautiful, young teenagers who are just starting out in life. It's gonna happen to children. To old people. No one is exempt from being targeted by this kind of darkness. We continue to pray and we continue to believe and we continue to ask that no weapon which is formed against us be able to prosper or prevail (Isaiah 54:17), but the truth of the matter is that ALL THINGS are ultimately in the Father's hands. Without knowing whether such a fate could come upon us at any time, we do have to know that He is in control even if He allows such things to happen (when one isn't in control, they don't have the power to "allow" anything. Just the fact that He can "allow" a thing, tells us that it's ultimately within His power).
While He never seeks to harm us and it's never in His will to allow us to be harmed, for reasons beyond our comprehension, He permits such things anyway. Could He stop it? Yes. Does he ever stop these things from happening? Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. That's just the way that it is and a fact of life that we have to deal with. Murder has been in the world since the beginning of humanity, remember Cain and Abel? While we sit around our televisions, radios and computers shaking our heads at news story after news story of heinous crimes, we do have to remember that it's not just us who has to suffer and, hopefully, survive such evil environments, but evilness has been on the earth since our creation. Heck, what could be more heinous than what Yahushua suffered on Calvary? None of His followers realized it at the time, but His death was necessary for our life. We also have to realize that this life...this expression...is neither our beginning nor our end. We are promised an eternal life with Him and the bible tells us that our earthly bodies can't withstand His glory, therefore we can't take them with us (1 Corinthians 15:51-53). None of us (in this time frame) gets out of here alive, so death is necessary. And not everyone will die of natural causes.
I also started to think about my own participation in the darkness of this world. Yes, we all participate every time we sin. May be a sin as small as a white lie or as major as an awful crime, but we all do it. Therefore, before I question why such atrocity exists in the world, I have to look only as far as myself. Before I go questioning the Father, I have to ask myself why I sometimes think bad thoughts about others, or don't do the things that I know are right, choosing (instead) to entertain what my flesh wants instead of what the Father expects of me. My sins may not appear to hurt others and may not carry the magnitude of kidnapping and murder, but the evil one of this world and all of his cohorts are just as pleased to have me doing their bidding when I do sin. In short, as much as it pains me to say, there have been times when I've helped the other team score and it all contributes to the darkness which prevails on our earth. Whether I like it or not, it's the truth.
So, mentally, I had to check myself on a lot of points. This isn't to minimize the crime that's been committed or the awful sin that has taken this young woman's life, but Our Father had to show me that sin is rampant in this world and just as He allows me to commit sins, He allows others as well. One day Yahushua is coming to judge us all and set the record straight, but until then, we who believe aren't in the position to demand to understand the why's and the how's of evils existence. After all, we are often who it exists through and as long as we're contributors (even in the tiniest ways), we have no room to question. Knowing this, our job is to repent as often as we sin and seek to completely eliminate sin by holding fast to His teachings, obeying His commandments and disciplining ourselves to walk after His righteousness.
Evilness cannot exist in our world, if we don't give it room and vehicles to work through. The resistance begins at home, with each and every one of us desiring to allow the Father to use us for His will and not the adversary to use us for his. We need to make our decisions now on who we will serve, because like it or not, we will serve one or the other (Joshua 24:15; Matt 6:23,24).
My prayers and condolences go out to this young woman's family...especially her parents. I even pray for the wife, child and family of the accused killer as well as for his own repentance and forgiveness. Most of all, I do hope that they all know Him or get to know Him intimately and trust Him for their peace in this hour. It's a tough situation all the way around and one that we'll never completely be able to understand "why". But one thing that we do know is that He is still on the throne and we will all meet Him someday. We've only to decide now whether we want to meet Him face to face as friends and children or if we'll meet Him as enemies on our way to eternal destruction.
I want Him to embrace me, so I embrace Him now. I hope all of us will.
In the meantime, I'll continue to trust that He's watching over me and mine. I'll continue to pray that He watches over all of us and thwarts the attack of the adversary on His people. I pray that each and every person who trusts in Him now will continue to do so regardless of appearances, fears or even their own weaknesses. Though we can't understand everything that happens in this world, we also aren't equipped to run it on our own. We need Him constantly and I pray that constantly we'll acknowledge this.
Let's live better. Let's always live for Him.