I searched for a verse this morning to find encouragement, to find something to hold onto in this crazy world. I think the one that fits best for this day is simply this, “Jesus wept.” John 11:35
Finding perspective in the midst of tragedy…it’s a tricky, difficult thing at times…
We ask questions that beg for answers. And sometimes the answers never come. Why? How? Is it possible? Where? Where are you God??? Is God Nowhere? Or, is He Now Here?
We wonder where God is when we experience pain, suffering, and hurt.
We wonder why He sometimes seems to protect and keep us from harm, and other times He seems to allow us to walk an incredibly dark road straight through the midst of it.
We wonder why bad things happen to good people, or especially to precious, innocent children.
We wonder why He allows incarnate evil to exist in this world. And why He does not fully shield us from its tragic effects?
We wonder why He doesn’t always answer our most desperate prayers in the way that we would want Him to.
We wonder where He is when a heart is grieving…when a mother weeps for her baby that is lost…when a father desperately searches for an answer of how he could have protected his sweet child in the midst of harm.
We wonder where He is when families longingly wait for their child to walk safely and securely out of a small town elementary school, only to find – they will never walk out again.
We wonder where He is when there is an extra seat at the table, an empty bed, an empty classroom, unwrapped presents under the tree that will never be opened by the one for whom they were intended.
We wonder where He is when dear people grieve over a tiny casket.
We wonder where He is when parents long to hold their child again, long to see their smiles, long to hear their laughter fill the house, long to see them run, long to see them grow, long for more days to spend with them, long for the feeling of a tiny hand grasping their own. Just one more time.
We wonder where He is when the only thing we can do is wake up and breathe…when the pain of loss seems insurmountable, when the darkness is too dark to bear, when we wonder if the days can ever be bright again.
We may wonder all of these things – in the midst of sadness, pain, and loss in this world. We may be tempted to believe the lie during times of deepest grief, the lie that says that God is surely not here, that God is Nowhere to be found.
Yet the truth whispers to us. It calls to us, sometimes gently and quietly, other times loudly, we cannot get away from this truth that keeps our feet grounded…that keeps our hearts and minds secure.
This truth is steadfast before us, never wavering, never moving, never shifting – HE IS HERE. God is Now Here. God is always here. He always was, He always will be. He will never leave us on our own. He hurts with us, He is in the midst of our pain, He carries us, He hovers over us, He wraps us in His grace, He touches us with His mercy. His very name tells us the TRUTH. He is Emmanuel. God with us.
As you hug your sweet kids today, please remember to breathe a prayer for those that cannot.
“…and they will name him Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.” Matthew 1:23