Last week was bittersweet for me.
On one hand I got to take a wonderfully relaxing vacation with my beautiful wife and 4 kids… but on the other hand our world had one of the worst weeks of tragedies we have ever experienced (at least in recent memory).
With the debate of gun control still raging in the United States, people are still struggling with the recent tragedies of Sandyhook and Colorado. To have a bombing, a plant explosion, an avalanche, two earthquakes, and a lockdown of an entire city in one week on top of all that… seems a bit much, doesn’t it?
And while this all impacts people different ways, one of the most popular questions being asked is this:
“Where is God?”
Good question, and one that deserves an honest response.
(Side note: Don’t worry, this won’t be a religious rant about how godless this country is. Nor will this be a guilt inducing speech that points fingers at everyone but me… this is simply a statement on God’s presence in the midst of tragedy).
He’s Here. God is Here. He is alive and He is well (cue Newsboys here)
That’s it. Simple, isn’t it?
oh… you want more than that?
You only have to look at the struggling story of God and His people to know that He is here…
Look at the first tragedy ever recorded in the Bible, the fall of man. Before this tragic event we enjoyed God’s full presence. We talked with Him, we walked with Him, we explored the new world with Him, we did everything together.
Once sin entered the picture, once we decided we wanted more than what God was offering, we were separated from God, not knowing if we’d ever see Him again.
God had different plans.
God wanted us back, He wanted us to experience Him in the same way we used to. So He crafted a plan…
Jeremiah 31:33–34 – ““I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.””
God knew if He could get to our hearts, to the very core of who we are, then we could enjoy Him like we did back in the beginning of time.
Enter Jesus. Fully God, Fully Human… God knew that the only way to execute His plan was to execute Himself for all of mankind:
John 14:6 – ““I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 12:32 – “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.””
To those who are seeking God need only to come to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who died for our sins so we can experience the real and living God in this world.
Jesus cares about people in the midst of darkness…
Matthew 23:37 – ““Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
This could very easily be said of today. Jesus sees the grip of evil in this world and wants so desperately for it to be eradicated, but that won’t happen until all people come to Him to be washed of their sins:
2 Corinthians 5:17–19 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.”
But once it is eradicated, once all evil is purged from this world. Those who have been cleansed in this world, will be with God forever, in the same way we were at the beginning of time:
Revelation 21:1–7 – “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”
No more tears. No more pain. No more evil. Just God and His people.
That does my heart good.
That’s not until later…how does this speak to the question of where God is?
God has been trying to show Himself since the beginning of time. He’s always wanted us to be with Him, but because of the evil that exists within all of us, He became distant. He had to.
Yet, ever since that day God has been trying to get us to realize that He still wants to be with us. He sent Himself, in the form of a human, to die for us so that we could see Him in the midst of this world.
And now, anyone who accepts God will become one with God and will experience Him, in this world, everyday of our lives.
Even in the midst of intense tragedy.
Romans 8:38–39 – “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
To those who have experienced loss in this past week, my heart goes out to. I pray that during this difficult time, you aren’t asking, “Where is God?”
Instead, I pray that you’ll be thanking Him for being there.
Peace, Love, and Soul.