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When It Happens to You

Over the weekend, I caught a portion of the 2017 film the Shack. When a father loses sight of his daughter while camping in the mountains, a search party is formed to discover her whereabouts before dark. Unfortunately, this race against time ends in tragedy. Like any painful experience in life, the father played by Sam Worthington goes into a tailspin, struggling to make it through each day.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and prudent and shrewd in their own sight! – Isaiah 5:20-21

A divine appointment leads Mack Phillips to return to place where his daughter was murdered. I can’t imagine anyone being able to cope, deal with or handle this ordeal. Despite being warned by a friend, Mack goes alone, to see if a letter from God found in his mailbox was legit or simply a hoax. To avoid a complete spoiler alert, Mack meets a family who attempts to help him see the hand of God working through this trial.

So speak and so act as [people should] who are to be judged under the law of liberty [the moral instruction given by Christ, especially about love]. 13 For to him who has shown no mercy the judgment [will be] merciless, but mercy [full of glad confidence] exults victoriously over judgment, James 2:12-13.

A few days later, God allows Mack to switch sides, playing the role of judge and jury. Mack’s assignment is to determine which of his two remaining children will go to heaven and who will go to hell. When your perception of good and evil is placed in a position of power, making a final decision isn’t easy. Thus, when evil happens to you or someone’s misguided use of freewill results in a deadly accident, grasping this reality is unfathomable for many. Therefore, whatever happens to you, good or bad, make sure you display grace, mercy and love to your enemies so Jesus will forgive you too.

by Jay Mankus

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