Let’s be honest for a minute. This past Friday with the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, many people thought the question, "Where is God?” Struck with the raw emotion of having a gunman walk into an elementary school and kill young children, at some point the question of God’s presence crept into people’s thoughts. Many of us are still in shock and horror that such a tragedy could ever occur. And as we come to grips with the scope of what happened, that nagging question will continue to creep into our thoughts until we deal with it and learn the truth.
Years ago, I suffered a personal and very private tragedy. Few people knew of my inner turmoil or the question which continuously plagued my thoughts – “Where was God?” For a long time, I refused to search for the answer because I was afraid of what I would find. Yet this only harmed my relationship with God and stole my peace of mind. Thankfully, God is patient, and He waited for me to ask the question He already knew I was thinking. So for today, let’s bookmark our study on Philippians, and let’s find the answer to the question we often ask when tragedy strikes – “Where is God?”
Yet people continue to reject Christ and His free gift of salvation. Because of this, there is still evil in this world. But this doesn’t mean God has abandoned us when tragedy strikes. It doesn’t mean He’s forgotten about those of us who are trying to live our lives to do some good. Personally, I can’t help but wonder if He ever has to restrain Himself from intervening when people try to destroy what He created. Throughout Scripture, Jesus is depicted as sitting at the right hand of God when in Heaven (see Matthew 26:64, Matthew 23:24, and Mark 16:19). Yet there’s one time when Jesus is shown to be standing at the right hand of God. In Acts 7:55-56 when Stephen is being stoned to death for his faith in Christ, we are told twice that Jesus was standing at the right hand of God. When I discovered this passage, my question about God’s presence in tragedy was finally laid to rest. God doesn’t just sit back and relax while we mortals are suffering. He is very aware of what’s happening in each of our lives, and He cares. Not only that, but His Spirit is with us on every step of this journey. Jesus is still Immanuel, which means God with us (Matthew 1:23).
So the next time it feels like your heart will break into a million little pieces and you are tempted to ask, “Where is God?” remember Immanuel. You are not alone. God sees you. He knows what’s happening. He cares. And He is with you.
“But Zion said, “I don’t get it. God has left me. My Master has forgotten I even exist.”
“Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore? But even if mothers forget, I’d never forget you—never. Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of My hands. The walls you’re rebuilding are never out of my sight.” ~ Isaiah 49:14-16 (The Message)
© December 16, 2012