“The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him” (Nahum 1: 7).
A little girl named Jenise died this week . Just six years old, Jenise was raped and murdered by a seventeen year old neighbor in the Washington trailer park where she lived. The teen accused of the crime has been arrested.
But Jenise was not the only child in jeopardy in recent weeks. Around the globe, children’s lives have been at risk from factors equally beyond their control.
- Shrapnel-torn corpses rained from the sky, after Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by separatists in the Ukraine . The belongings of children were randomly scattered across the debris field.
- Children in Gaza are dying as a by-product of Israel’s ground war there . Both sides have blood on their hands. The practice by Hamas of shielding military operations by civilian targets has contributed to the death toll. Misdirected fire by Hamas has, also, resulted in the death and injury of children. As of this writing, the rocket bombardment by Hamas which initiated the conflict continues.
- In Iraq, some quarter million refugees have fled in advance of the Islamic militant group ISIS . Some 40,000 of these (including 25,000 children) from a Kurdish religious sect that predates Islam have been under siege on Mt. Sinjar without supplies. The United States is now providing aid and cover on a limited basis.
- The world’s worst Ebola outbreak is raging in West Africa, with fears it will spread . The disease has a fatality rate as high as 90%. Over 900 deaths have occurred to this point. Children who have not themselves contracted the disease may still lose one or both parents to it.
Few things drive home our crushing limitations more so than the death of children does. War, crime, and illness pull back the curtain on a painful reality, and we see clearly how little control we have over our lives. That information can rock us to our core.
We may never understand, on an emotional level, why God allowed Jenise’s suffering. We can be sure, however, her suffering pained Him, more even than it does us.
God hears the cries from Gaza and Mt. Sinjar, as He does those from Nigeria, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. He knows all the Jenises.
At a time like this – when lights seem to be going out across the world – it is more urgent than ever we keep faith and bear witness to the truth. God is not impotent. Nor has He abandoned us. To the contrary, He gave His life for ours.
Men and women of goodwill play a vital role in sharing the love of God with the world, and spreading the Good News of Salvation. We must not permit what appears the increasing presence of evil to undermine our resolve.
 NBC News, “Teen Arrested in Killing of 6-Year-Old Jenise Wright,” 8/9/14, http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/teen-arrested-killing-6-year-old-jenise-wright-n176991 .
 The Washington Post, “After a Malaysian Plane Is Shot Down in Ukraine, Grief and Outrage Ripple Worldwide”by Marc Fisher, Michael Birnbaum, Annie Gowan, Todd Frankel, Karen DeYoung, Karoun Demirjian, and OA Patrick, 7/24/14, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/after-a-malaysian-plane-is-shot-down-in-ukraine-grief-and-outrage-ripple-worldwide/2014/07/24/b9bf99a2-11e9-11e4-98ee-daea85133bc9_story.html.
 NY Times, “Israeli Military Invades Gaza, with Sites Set on Hamas Operations” by Jodi Rudoren and Anne Barnard, 7/17/14, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/18/world/middleeast/israel-gaza-strip.html?_r=0.
 NY Times,”Obama Allows Limited Air Strikes on ISIS” by Helen Cooper, Mark Landler, and Alissa Rubin, 8/7/14, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/08/world/middleeast/obama-weighs-military-strikes-to-aid-trapped-iraqis-officials-say.html.
 Chicago Tribune, “Liberia Declares a State of Emergency in the Wake of Ebola,”8/6/14, http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/chi-ebola-outbreak-20140806-story.html#page=1.
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