Evelyn and I have our own New Year’s Day tradition of going to the movies to see a new blockbuster. There’s usually a show mid-morning, so it gives us the rest of the day to relax and perhaps do some bargain shopping afterwards. So, yesterday we headed to the theater to see what was being shown.
We opted to go and see Tom Cruise’s new movie, ‘Valkyrie,’ which is all about the unsuccessful bombing assassination attempt of Hitler. It was a great movie and the suspense was intense. You knew how it would all end, but you still rooted for the brave souls who sought to rid the world of a monster.
At the end of the movie, all the conspirators are either shot or hanged for being traitors to their country. For years after the war, keeping their memory and lauding them as heroes was highly controversial in Germany. Eventually, their attempt was recognized on a memorial which reads: “Here in the former Army High Command, Germans organized the attempt to overthrow the lawless National Socialist regime on July 20, 1944. For this they sacrificed their lives.”
The film disturbed us and rocked our faith. We were left with this question which no one can answer: why didn’t God allow this assassination attempt to work? If Hitler had been killed in July, 1944, then the war would have ended much sooner and millions of lives would have been saved. The Russians would never have entered Berlin and the Cold War may never have occurred. How could God permit this monster to live for another ten months, creating havoc and destruction across Europe, as well as sentencing countless numbers of Jews to death in satanic concentration camps? Wouldn’t it have been better to rid the world of Hitler sooner?
I guess it’s a question that will never be satisfactorily answered on this side of eternity. Most of the conspirators and members of the German resistance movement were Christians, too. They saw their faith and calling as a means to rid humanity of a terrible and wicked evil in the world. They must have wrestled with this ethical problem more than we can ever imagine.
Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
In the end, I have no answer, but I still retain my belief that Christ, through his willingness to sacrifice Himself, seeks to redeem the world eternally from all wickedness and evil. Generations may see terrifying tyrants and monstrous dictators rise and fall, but Christ’s reign continues to the end of all history.
Prayer: Lord, sometimes our faith struggles and we are not certain of Your ways, Your truths, Your life. The world is full of inhumanity and wickedness, and it seems as though evil is contaminating the entire earth. In the midst of our angst, give us the courage to believe and the fortitude to hold on to faith. Remind us that Your ways are not ours. In Your Holy Name, we still faithfully pray. Amen.