Here & Abroad: Where was God?

Earth-the-universe-stars-435Muddled emotions leave so many hurting hearts asking the same thing. Where is God in the midst of all this evil? For many, the pervading question of theodicy comes up in times of crisis. For most believers, the question is never an easy one to address. The typical, honest and accurate answer that God is exactly where He always is – in Heaven in total control of everything that happens in the universe always leads to the same following question. Why, then, would a good and loving God allow such a tragedy to happen? But if you’re Christian then your firm answer must be that because He is there, He is also right here. God’s presence and comforting care never leave your side. If you are asking and are not a believer in Jesus, God is then in the very same place, drawing you unto himself and offering you his love, unmerited mercy, and underserved grace. No one can really explain this in a mere few paragraphs but we must accept that God is not the director as the wicked acts of evil men unfold.

It really is hard to understand the “why” of tragic events like those taking place in the world right now but we can be certain that no matter the “why” incidents like these underscore how goodness and grace coexist in this world regardless of your worldview, alongside the ugliness and pain of evil and crisis. As the smoke settles, stories of hope, survival, love, sacrifice and countless miracles become visible. Times like these cause us to take our eyes off this world and put them on the one to come. If we turn to the Bible for answers we are continually directed away from getting caught up in the things of this world, and re-directed to look ahead toward what is eternal. It is written that this world and all that is in it will pass away, yet the kingdom of God will remain eternal and no amount of foreign policy fluency, GOP rhetoric, eloquently delivered G20 speeches, noble ideals in hopes to “stay the course” or iterated concern for the world we will leave our children and their children will deter this fact. David states what our view should be quite simply, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea” Ps 46:1-2.

So where is God? Author Philip Yancy, in his book “Where is God When it Hurts?” addresses the same thought. He responds with this: “I guess the answer to that question is another question. Where is the church when it hurts? If the church is doing its job—binding wounds, comforting the grieving, offering food to the hungry—I don’t think people will wonder so much where God is when it hurts. They’ll know where God is: in the presence of his people on earth.” Concern yourself with being a light, empowered by a faith that comes from the hearing of the Word and pray without ceasing. That is our only call to action. No right wing, left wing or any other soapbox needed.

My prayer then will be that the hurting, lost, doubtful, confused, disenfranchised and spiritually blind will feel the loving arms of God wrapped around them as they put their trust in Him and that He will give wisdom, courage and strength to our current President, the President to come and to their advisors. God is right here, omniscient, and assures us that “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28. Pain, hurt, suffering, terror, and tragedy then are things included in the matter of “all things” that will be used to accomplish the purpose of the God. All who trust in God, in the end will not be disappointed.

God bless you all.