Where is God when disaster strikes? Whether it comes wreaking havoc in our private world or whether we see it in mammoth proportions on our TV screen, we can’t help but question and wonder.
Does God care when tragedy sweeps in unexpectedly and tears at the very fiber of our being with inexpressible grief? The answer is “yes!” Yet to find the comfort he offers we must first get past the questions.
When Jesus walked this earth he told his followers that in this world there would be trouble. Since the beginning of time there has been struggle on this earth – germs and weeds, storms and insects, people problems and money problems. The Bible tells us that God set things in motion on this earth. The seasons come and the seasons go and God does not necessarily intervene in every one.
Was this God’s fault?
When we find ourselves appalled at the overwhelming things happening in life, we cannot always determine the source. It may be the world and the forces of nature set in motion at the foundation of the world; it may be consequences of our own flesh and choices we have made; it may be spiritual opposition from the enemy of our soul or it may come from the very hand of God.
We can agonize over the possibilities as we seek to answer the heart wrenching, “Why?” Yet we cannot understand God nor can we always determine the answer to the difficult “why?” even though we try desperately.
The hope that we have in times of severe circumstances and agonizing grief is the knowledge that God does care and he will help us through. Often our unanswered questions leave us blaming God and we distance ourselves from the very one who can bring comfort to the anguished heart.
Is God on our side?
We know God sees everything that happens to us. Nothing is a surprise to him. We wish he would intervene and stop the pain. We wish children did not die and loved ones were not lost. As our lives play out on planet Earth, we find ourselves with a choice to make.
We can believe God is a God of love or we can turn from him in anger. We can believe that his heart is always for us or we can believe he is cruel and mean. Running to him in the midst of our anguish will take us into his arms of comfort. Pushing him away will leave us alone with desperation in our souls.
The main theme running through the Bible is God’s great love for us. Over and over he tells us that he sent his son, Jesus, to this earth to heal broken hearts.
Even King David, known to be a man after God’s heart, went through times of great tears to the point that those around him questioned, “Where is your God?” (Psalm 42) Yet he also knew how the Lord took note of his anguish and recorded his tears (Psalm 56:8). He ran to God for strength in his despair.
There is still hope for us
When we simply cannot understand the twists and turns of our path we can run to the one who will anchor us. He doesn’t promise our lives will be free of trouble, yet He does promise to hold us close through it all. Never doubt God’s love and care. He hurts when we hurt. His son, Jesus, went up the agonizing hill to the cross and understands the deep anguish the soul can plunge to. That’s why we can trust him to be with us in our times of overwhelming stress.
- God continually calls us to come to him with our burdens and find rest for our souls. (Matthew 11:28-29).
- He invites us to cast our worries on him because he cares. (1 Peter 5:7).
- He invites us to come to his throne and ask for mercy and grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16).
- He will be our Comforter in sorrow when our heart is faint. (Jeremiah 8:18).
- He offers strength when we are weak. (Philippians 4:13).
- He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3).
When our minds cannot comprehend the tragic events we find ourselves in, our hearts can reach to the God of all comfort to find the strength we need to get through today and to know that there will be help and hope for tomorrow.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
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