This week the El Paso Times reported that there had been ONLY 1904 homicides in Juarez in 2011. Simply put that means ONLY five people a day died on the bloody streets of Juarez last year. This statistic only reminds me how dark the reality is along the border. Sadly, in 2010 there were 3117 homicides so over 1,000 less people lost their lives last year, but we still have so far to go.
As I read this report I was reminded of the words of Habakkuk the prophet to Judah. He cried out to the LORD saying:
2 How long, O LORD, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save?
3 Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
4 Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted. (Habakkuk 1.2-4 NIV)
Often the name of a prophet gave a glimpse into his life and message. The name Habakkuk in Hebrew means “to embrace.” For many scholars this appeared to have nothing to do with his situation, but as I listen to the cry of this godly man, I hear a man “embracing” the reality of the world he lived in.
Probably in his day he wrestled with the unlikely and tragic death of Josiah on the battlefield pierced by the flying Egyptian arrows. Habakkuk tried to make sense of why God would allow the wicked king Jehoiakim to reign on the throne after Josiah had called the nation back to God.
We continue to pray for God to bring justice and righteousness to our valley. I am thankful the violence has slowed, but I will not be satisfied until children can walk the streets without fear, and parents no longer hide at night behind steel bars.
Of course one lesson from the prophet we all must embrace is God does not always work in the ways we expect him to work. We all must learn to trust His ways and His timing!