No doubt, like me, you are moved by the pictures of the devastation we have seen, coming from Texas, in the news lately. So much water. Bringing so much hardship and destruction and suffering. It is so hard to fathom…
As people of faith, this is a hard one for us. God, obviously sees the same things we have been seeing. He not only sees, He hears… the cries of all the hurting, the clamor for desperate help, the weeping of so many broken hearts, the silent scream of limitless suffering. What is hard for us, must be especially hard for One Who is said to love with an unlimited love. One Who not only knows everything we are going through but feels our hurt as if it was His Own.
But here’s the really hard part… God KNEW this was going to happen before it ever did. He saw it coming long before we ever saw a single picture of the devastation. God knew the amount of suffering about to be unleashed, and experienced – and He did nothing to keep it from happening.
This creates a terrific struggle in the minds and hearts of so many people. If God is all-powerful, why doesn’t He use that power to prevent terrible things from happening to people? If God is all good, how could He possibly know what is coming and NOT stop it? Someone who is supposed to be as good as God should step in to prevent bad things from happening to people.
As Christians, how should we factor God into all of this? What are the answers to all those hard (and legitimate) questions that people have in times like this?
I don’t have all the answers – but I would like to make a couple of observations…
First, have you noticed that even though the devastation was immense, people’s compassionate response has been greater? Thousands upon thousands of people have rolled up their sleeves to get down in the muck and help total strangers. They have given their time, their money, all their energy to help those in need. People from all over this country have taken up the mantle of courage and compassion to meet the needs of those who are in desperate need. As much as the trouble is relentless, the compassion is all the more unrelenting.
But this is not unusual. Anywhere in our country (or throughout the globe), whenever something terrible happens, people are powerfully drawn to help those in need (giving of themselves selflessly, often without receiving a single thing in return). It is this amazing outpouring that will dominate our thoughts whenever we face any overwhelming situation. It is what we will remember long after everything is repaired… and renewed… and life returns to “normal.”
Some people look at this great outpouring of compassion and conclude that we really don’t need God, at all. We have ourselves – and we are pretty amazing when we get ourselves together to meet overwhelming needs.
I believe something totally different. I believe that in those times of greatest need, it is God inspiring people to cause them to think and act beyond themselves. God is not detached from the situation – He is in the midst of it, working through all those people who have made a choice to think of someone other than themselves for a change.
A while back, we talked about the God imprint. That inner imprint of God’s Own Person that gets buried in all the mundane activities of our days. Sometimes it takes something extraordinarily tragic to bring out the extraordinary in us. So that we can really see what we were all designed to be, by the One Who created us to live beyond ourselves in each and every day.
The pictures from Texas have been tragic.
The pictures from Texas have been glorious.
Prayer Focus: God, I pray for those in the midst of the flooding in Texas… grant them strength, hope, and the sense of Your Presence in the midst of so much tragedy.