Thursday, May 05, 2011

Grace on a Thursday: terrorists and such

My brain is always connecting dots. I'm always analyzing life and people and truth, often without even being aware I'm doing it. But sometimes I sense an internal resistance to lay my thoughts against what the Bible says. Sometimes I don't want to connect my life with what God says because I'm afraid of what I'll find along that line (because let's face it, the Bible says some pretty extreme stuff). Which makes me force myself to do it.

This week, in light of the recent victories in the War on Terror, I've felt that resistance. I've wanted to package up the death of Osama Bin Laden into a box labeled "justice." I've wanted room to feel prideful and superior to those "kinds" of people. But instead, I've forced myself to look at things from different angles. I've been asking myself how grace comes into the picture. What is God thinking about all this?

Now, there are two things to consider before I go on. One is that we live in a great country, one served by thousands of men and women much braver than myself who literally lay their lives on the line for my safety. They are heroes and they are to be honored. I know the United States has achieved some significant military goals this week, but beyond that, I know very little of what those men and women endure for our sake. I can simply be grateful.

But secondly, we are dealing with more than military initiatives, here. We are speaking of people, human souls. The facts I resist staring hard into are that God himself knit Osama Bin Laden together in his mother's womb, just like He did my own son. God saw his unformed body; He knew what each of his days would hold before even one of them came to pass (Psalm 139: 13, 15-16). My guess is that upon his death, Bin Laden was not a repentant man. I'm assuming he refused to surrender, not only to the U.S., but to the Lord Almighty. That's sad.

A lot of people on earth died that same day. Grandmothers, people in car accidents and hospitals, firemen, soldiers, and terrorists. The truth is God was grieved by the death of each person who never chose to surrender his or her life to Him. He was grieved for each of his created ones who would now be eternally lost.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 
2 Peter 3:9

Osama Bin Laden chose to remain on the throne of his life, and truly He ruled in evil and terror. It's too late for him to find grace. But it's not too late for me to humbly examine my own willingness to surrender my life to the Lord's leading. Thank God, I'm able to walk in grace this Thursday knowing that I'll never get what I deserve for my sin, and that God does such a better job running my life than I do. I'm so thankful.

{And justice...that's a whole 'nother post. If you want to hear my thoughts, once I wrote about that here.}


  1. SOOOOOOOOO true Leslie. While many are hailing this "triumph", I cant help but be saddened for the state of his soul. Surely, he's already learning what its like to pay for choosing such an evil life.
    And yes, I do understand that we lost many here. This happened only 4 hours from where I live so many here were affected by the events of 911.
    But I heard on the radio of a little girl who asked her mommy: "do you think God forgave him mommy?" Thats all she was worried about-the state of his eternal soul.
    And this is totally my two cents but to think that this brings an end to all the terrorism and such is so ignorant. There are many who will gladly take over in his place. Such a broken world we live in.

  2. oh leslie this is written just perfectly. exactly what ive been thinking/wrestling with this week since all this. Im so glad you posted this, its such a truthful perspective. Love you friend!!

  3. "God himself knit Osama Bin Laden together in his mother's womb"... in my pride and arrogance, i have never once considered that truth. and oh, is it ever true. so, so true. friend, your words have humbled me today. "God was grieved by the death of each person who never chose to surrender his or her life to Him"... just so true. thank you for your boldness.

  4. I've been battling these feelings ever since Sunday night, too. Thank you for writing this.

  5. I'm with ya'll--I have a hard time with both sides. I definitely don't feel good about what he did, but I'm having a hard time rejoicing in someone's death like this. It all makes me realize how broken and busted our world is, and I'm so thankful that I have Jesus to turn to!

  6. Love this! Thanks for sharing more of your thoughts on this matter. I'm very relieved I am not the only person who feels this way...

  7. This has been such a conflicting week. On Sunday night I just didn't feel right about the scenes of raucous partying on Fox News. But throughout the week my feelings have evolved a bit. As OBL was knit together, our Lord also blessed him with free will and with that free will, OBL chose to do evil and in my mind, became evil. If we cannot experience joy in the triumph over evil, where can we? Coincidentally, in a bible study yesterday we read through Psalm 139 and then I read ahead to Psalm 140 - wow!!! Psalm 140:10 - "Let slanderers not be established on the land; may disaster hunt down men of violence." After reading the entire Psalm I became convicted that OBL's death was totally justified though I still feel unsure about how to outwardly express it. Erin

  8. Very much my thoughts too - it's been so hard to process it all!

  9. Thank you all for your comments. Erin, I agree with every word you said. Our God is a just God, and definitely punishes evil. I think it may be both for Him - He is saddened for the loss of His created one, and also angered by violent, evil men. The Bible is clear on that angle as well, as you have stated. Thanks for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment which makes for a great addition to my post.