Wallace Henley: ‘Wow!’ Is the Answer of Faith

The age of “Why?” and “How?” is upon us.

Records of catastrophe are being smashed. A huge chunk of California is now ablaze with the largest wildfire in the state’s history. A year ago we in Houston were on the brink of Hurricane Harvey, the rainiest of Atlantic storms, which would dump twenty-seven trillion gallons of water on my town, with $1.25 billion of devastation, not to mention the incalculable human grief.

“Why?” and “How?” are sparked by mind-scrambling inconsistencies. Hollywood douses society with lavish sexual spectacles, then is aghast when some of its grandees wind up on #MeToo. Passionate people deplore the separation of children from their mothers at the nation’s gates, but crusade to the keep the gates open where babies are separated from their mother’s wombs. Journalistic titans tutoring on how to interpret current events fall before our eyes like worm-eaten Herod soiling his clothes before a sycophantic audience from Nowheresville.

Astounding tragedies and disappointments break upon us like tsunamis. A couple about to embark on a missions career dies tragically before they can cross the ocean. A Duck-Boat gets swamped and whole families die, several of them committed Christians. Savages slaughter entire communities of Christians in Africa. Pastors are martyred at the front doors of their churches. Faithful people are locked in prisons where they suffer torture and deprivation, and become the pawns of heartless tyrants. Instability in fractured nations cast waves of immigrants surging toward increasingly quivering borders.

Heroes who preach to us, teach us, lead us politically, seem to be exemplars of family leadership, are exposed as moral, ethical, and even spiritual frauds.

Bitterness and doubt crowd into believing hearts and minds. People abandon callings, suppress gifts, and turn away from ministering to a world in pain.

Bible students wonder: Is the Tribulation upon us?

“Tribulation” is thlipsis in Greek. It is the label given the hefty stone rolled over grapes or olives, squeezing out juice or oil.

That’s an apt picture of our day. We live in an age of “squeezing” worldwide. It may not be mega-thlipsis (Great Tribulation), but it is a period of immense stress.

Jesus’ disciples mulled over such concerns one day as they walk with the Lord through the Temple complex. Jesus’ young followers, county boys mostly, are agog at the massive stones composing the mighty structure.

Then Jesus bursts their bubbles.

There will come a time when “not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” (Matthew 24:1-3)

Now come the questions. “When will these things happen? What will be the sign of Your coming?” Lurking in their souls are the two killer questions: “Why will this happen?” and “How could this possibly occur considering the massive edifice right here before our eyes?”

“Why?” is so often the question of theodicy, the doctrine of evil: “Why, if God is loving, and good, and kind would this bad thing happen to me/us/them?”

“How?” too frequently is the question of skepticism: “How can a man walk on water… open blind eyes… rise from the dead… ascend to heaven?”

“Wow!” is the answer of faith. It is the way of the child. “Wow! A Man walked on water!” or even, “Wow! A dead man came out of a tomb.” Jesus said we would not see the Kingdom without being childlike.

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Source: Christian Post