Ferguson, Missouri, received nationwide attention in 2014, but not for good things. Seldom, it seems, are places highlighted or newsworthy for good things. Ferguson received notoriety for events that occurred there, and the nation is still debating and grappling with the issues of race relations and police tactics. One side sees it as an opportunity to highlight all of the injustices done to minorities over the years. Those on the other side see it as an unfortunate day in the life of a cop just doing his job. As with any community, the majority of Ferguson’s residents are decent, law-abiding citizens who simply want to earn a living and provide for their families. Yet, as we know, every town has its issues and no town is perfect.
It takes me about thirty minutes to drive to Ferguson. I have friends who live there. I graduated from a university that was located right down the road from Ferguson. I often stop in Ferguson for gas when I drive through St. Louis. One of my favorite restaurants is also located there. Despite the impression that is conveyed through the media outlets, Ferguson is not a community that needs to be avoided. Yes, there were a few days in 2014 when it would have been wise to avoid visiting there, but such is no longer the case.
As it is with any controversial matter, it is far too easy to quickly take sides, and come to conclusions, before all of the evidence is presented. While events were transpiring, it was easy to sit in the comfort of our chairs while watching the television, and point the finger at this or that reason for Ferguson’s problems. Whatever the root cause of the problem is, we can easily conclude that Ferguson has deep-seated issues that cannot be addressed by a “quick fix” solution from the intellect of man. What is desperately needed is a miraculous intervention by God. “Then someday, I will heal this place and my people as well, and let them enjoy unending peace” (Jer. 33:6, Contemporary English Version throughout). Who among us would not welcome the prospect of unending peace?
Every community has its troubles and issues. Whether they know it or not, every community yearns for the return of Jesus Christ to solve its troubles and issues. Whether they realize it or not, every community desires an opportunity to know and practice God’s Truth. Whether they comprehend it or not, every community needs God’s healing power, which begins with a change of heart and mind. Ferguson should not be singled out as the sole community that has problems. It is just one of many troubled communities in this nation that has been caught-up in turbulence and confusion.
Get enough communities together, and you have a city. Get enough cities together, and you have a state. Get enough states together, and you have a nation. All of the nations make up the world, and a solution to this world’s problems is vitally needed. This troubled world is waiting eagerly for the day when its problems will be solved (Rom. 8:19-22).
Let us continue to pray for that day to come soon, when God will intervene in the affairs of communities, cities, states, nations, and the entire world. When we observe situations like what occurred in Ferguson, let us pray even more fervently that Jesus Christ will return soon. “The one who has spoken these things says, ‘I am coming soon!’ So, Lord Jesus, please come soon!” (Rev. 22:20)