BY MOMWISE LATUNDE ONABAJO

“Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely, the LORD is in this place, and I was not even aware of it!’” (Genesis 28: 16)

Have you ever been confronted with a situation so great that you, for the first time, truly experience shock? Your entire body freezes in place, your feet fail to carry the weight of your body, your brain blanks out into a sphere of nothingness and a moment void of existentialism.

That was Rebecca’s case when she and her husband received the call that their only child had committed a heinous crime. A crime so atrocious that the consequences was life in prison and in some states, death penalty!

When Rebecca and her husband, Jessie received the call at the early hours of the morning, their heart sunk beneath their feet as it dawned on them that their only child, the one they raised in the way of the Lord was now on a path they had never in a million years anticipated.

What could have driven a well-behaved, top of the class, God-loving, goal-oriented person to commit such a crime?

While Rebecca and Jessie couldn’t answer this question right away, they turned their faces towards heaven…literally, and committed their new reality to the Lord. It wasn’t easy and still not. Their battle is ongoing, 18 years and counting!

We live in an imperfect world as the Bible clearly states; a world filled with unimaginable evils that humans commit. Oddly, I am reminded that people who commit such evils are equally born of a mother and a father as I am. Knowing that my parents love me and will do anything to protect me. I often wonder,

Do these parents love their badly behaved children any less than Mother Theresa’s parents loved her?

I truly believe that no parent sets out to raise unruly children, but wickedness is so perpetual in this world that chaos is bound to occur regardless of efforts to protect our children. In the midst of this chaos, where do we turn to? Who do you call? How do you move forward?

These are hard questions but they are questions for the reality of life. I think Christians are sometimes misguided by the idea that the cloak of Christianity protects from evil. As long as I’m a Christian, I am protected from evil, I’ve heard many Christians boldly declare. But that’s not what Christ preached. “In this world, you will have trouble…” (John 16:33). Jesus’ words, verbatim! So where did we get the idea of a—trouble, evil, atrocity—free world? Strangely enough, some of these atrocious acts are being committed by children of God, Gasp!

Remember Jacob in the Bible? Remember King David? Remember Peter? What about Apostle Paul? These men committed atrocities, yet, God committed to accomplish His greater plan through them. Right in the midst of the chaos created, God stood TALL! He spoke clearly and loudly, declaring His Sovereignty over the universe! He declared that He “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28).

I am not advocating a free pass to live or act wickedly. Neither am I encouraging hands-off parenting; I still believe, strongly, in training up a child in the way he should go. What I am saying is that: in raising our children, chaos might occur. Our children will sometimes act outside of our expectations. However, our trust is that the Lord will help us through it. He is in the midst of the chaos to give direction, wisdom and peace.

Whatever the situation, always remember, that God is in the midst of the chaos! Even when the desire to pray is lost, when the opened Bible becomes blurry from tears quickly forming in the eyes, please remember that God is in the midst of the chaos! More than anything, He loves you and your family and desires to wrap His arms around you. Like Jacob said, “Surely, the LORD is in this place, and I was not even aware of it!”

Don’t be afraid to seek support from friends and families, the church and your community. Be willing to be vulnerable for you never know who God will use to turn the chaos around for your good. God truly causes everything to work together for good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28).