In the midst of tragedy people often find themselves questioning their sense of security, their values, morals, ethics, and ultimately God. It is difficult to conceptualize a God that would allow such atrocities to unfold which leaves people with two other theories: either God exists and has chosen to abandon us leaving us to suffer and die in vain, or there is no God. Often that is the easiest theory to believe because it is hard for us to love a God who would watch us die and do nothing about it while still conceding to the fact that he is omnipotent.
Another popular theory is that God is unleashing his wrath on all sinners and the end is near, and though biblically, that may not be far from the truth it is also difficult to understand why God allowed good people to die, those who were Christians, who lived their lives according to His word, why them? Perhaps the best explanation is a combination of all of those things and the fact that we are caught in the middle of a war between good and evil and that sometimes God doesn’t win the battle, but is desperately trying to win the war. God’s battle plan is so much bigger than we could ever know and losing the war will cost us our souls.
Lamentations 3:19-33 says:
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.
Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him.
Let him bury his face in the dust- there may yet be hope.
Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace.
For no one is cast off by the Lord forever.
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
SO GREAT IS HIS UNFAILING LOVE.
For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.
God does not rejoice in our suffering, but this is not a war without casualties. We must be prepared to endure grief and heartache and sorrow in this world because our freedom in this world comes at a cost. However, God sees our pain, His compassion and mercy are renewed daily. He will provide for our needs and He will help us to pick up the pieces and keep marching on.
Let us turn our eyes to the heavens. Let us find our hope in Him in this world that is all but lost, let us be disciples and go out into the world with grace, mercy, compassion, and peace. Let us be the light.
By: Crystal Preston