Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Where was God?

This week has been a particularly difficult week in our country with the terrorist attack in Boston on Monday.  No matter how many times we hear about acts of evil, they are still hard to deal with emotionally and sometimes, we even find ourselves questioning our faith and asking hard questions about what we really believe.  This tends to happen sometimes after the death of a loved one as well. We might ask, "Why did God allow this to happen?", or "Where was God?".  We also might feel as if we are alone in our suffering and pain.  For many who believe in a loving God, it is difficult to face tragedy and death.  I thought this article was particularly poignant, not only for those who were affected by Monday's bombing (even though I think we are all affected in a way), but also for people who are grieving and suffering from the death of a loved one, and struggling in their faith.  If you find this article helpful, you might also be interested in the book called, "Where was God when...Real Answers to Hard Questions", by Mike Calhoun and Rick Garland.  It deals with this subject in a particularly meaningful and direct way and can be helpful in your grieving process. I hope these resources bring you peace and comfort in your healing journey.
This Book can be ordered on Amazon by clicking HERE.
Where Was God During the Boston Marathon?
By:  Susan Stamper Brown (the original article is linked HERE)

As the F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security sift through the collateral damage in Boston, one thing is abundantly clear: it was an act of terrorism. Questions, like who is responsible and their motivation, remain to be determined. Along with those questions, one cannot help but ask where God is during events like this.
It is a fair question. I've asked it myself a time or two; especially after losing my husband some years back. There is something about death that shocks the rest of us into reality. We want answers...we need answers. We need to know that somehow in some way the pain we are feeling in that moment is of some significance to someone, somewhere in the universe.
Meanwhile, the clock's pendulum swings, the sun rises and falls, the seasons change and life moves forward...whether we like it or not. At some point along this pain filled journey we call grief, we wonder where, exactly, was God during our time of suffering? Did he hear our cries? Did he see our pain...or was he too preoccupied with bigger concerns to notice?
We cast blame. We want justice. What did we do wrong? What could we have done better? Through the pain, we begin to understand how small we actually are... and how precious life is. We begin to recognize the reality of our own mortality. Like it or not, death is a reality for all of us. It comes for us many times when we least expect...and always too the blink of an eye or the blast of a bomb.
We must come to grips with the reality we live in a fallen world with all kinds of evil, and there's nothing we can do to separate ourselves from it. Whether we like it or not, the world is full of people who are bent on taking out their anger and frustration on the innocent. Take heart; the short time we spend on this planet is not all there is to living. There is a hereafter, so it might be wise for each of us to figure out where we are headed here after.
In the meantime, instead of focusing on all the evil which seems to permeate every crack and crevice of this planet, we must look for the goodness around us. Like in the marathon runners who ran through the smoke and risked their lives to help the injured and others who crossed the finish line and continued running to the hospital to donate blood for the victims. Where was God? He showed up in the form of first responders and everyday bystanders who applied makeshift tourniquets, carried victims, or simply prayed.
God gets it. He understands our hurts. He feels our pain, empathizes with us in our grief, and hears our cries because He knows what it feels like to watch a loved one die. He's been there. So he cries along with us, reminding us along the way to breathe in... and breathe out... as we wait for history to finish the last pages of the story. Someday, we will look back at this brief moment we called life... and exceptionally bad days like Monday in Boston will somehow make light of eternity.