When news broke that 7-year-old Jorelys Rivera was missing, in my mind I assumed she would turn up safely. Like so many other cases of a child abduction, most times they turn out for the best -- a child returned to their mother safely and some nimrod behind bars for using their own kid as a pawn.
Jorelys' case wasn't as simple.
This week, her lifeless body was found in a community dumpster, discarded like yesterday's trash. After an autopsy, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said that Jorelys died of blunt force trauma. In addition, she was stabbed and raped.
The circumstances surrounding her disappearance and murder are pretty cut and dry -- and I'm going to try to get through this post as logically as possible -- but as I heard the details from her autopsy, I asked God, why does He allow these things to happen? After proverbially cowering in fear of a bolt of lightning striking me down, God quickly replied, "I made man a free moral agent. Not a robot."
That got me to thinking about the age-old question I hear people ask about why God lets certain things happen. Is it that He's letting them happen or just the freedom of man (which is subject to who he serves spiritually) rule in today's world? The rising anger I have for the man who did this to Jorelys desperately wants an answer.
When God put man on the earth, He gave us dominion over everything...
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
-- Genesis 1:26
...and Matthew 6:24 tells us, No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
People, who commit horrific crimes like in the case of Jorelys Rivera, have taken two powerful spiritual principles and perverted them to perpetuate evil. Every human being has the ability to choose and every human being has a spirit in them that is submitted to one side or the other. There is no gray area in spiritual matters; either you serve and live for God or your serve and live for satan. It's a hard pill to swallow (and the straddle-the-fence syndrome we suffer from doesn't like it), but it's the truth.
How do we begin to understand with our minds and hearts when acts of violence against children begin to inundate our news? In recent weeks, we've heard news stories of children being molested, raped, even murdered by their own parents. My daughter is turning seven this Friday and I think of all the times I was in earshot of her playing outside in the front yard or the times I sent her outside to get something out of the car alone. Sweet Jorelys thought she was in safe, familiar place, doing something as routine as getting drinks for her friends. I'm sure it was something that she did regularly.
There's no room in my mind that can fathom or even understand the sinful, dark heart that took Jorelys' life and only God knows who could do such a horrible thing to an innocent child. More and more recently, our children have gone under an attack of some sort, being maimed and persecuted -- and again the question we ask is "why?"
God made it very clear in His Word that "Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him," in Psalm 127:3 so if we live in a spiritual world where there is a clear line of demarcation between good and evil, the attacks on children are not God's doing or His will. Satan wants to take everything good, anything God can use to glorify Him and STEAL it. What better "harvest" to take than children?
If there is a child in your life, in any capacity, pray for them. Love on them. Understand the current state of natural and spiritual affairs occurring in this world and the blatant attempt to destroy our most precious harvest on earth: children.
Follow Alisha L. Gordon, M.Ed. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AlishaLGordon