These dark skies have swooped down, twisted realities, shaken foundations, and flooded us with fear. They have blown in and taken the breath of children, with no regard toward how our young in school have already been attacked.
And then, they came back for more, and to the One Who Calms the Seas and Storms, we cry out Enough!
People are talking, you know? Asking questions. Wondering if it was by your hand, oh Creator of the winds and skies and rains. I know it’s okay to ask, to wonder. I’m asking too. Your Word compels me to wrestle with these realities.
Can a loving, gracious God bring destruction among his people?
It just doesn’t seem to fit with your story. You’re a god of life, not death. Restoration, not destruction.
There was a time and place when you revealed your powerful hand, establishing authority on the Earth, among your people and their surrounding nations. These intentional acts of sickness and death and destruction happened in your name. These stories confuse us, and they seem to challenge what we know of Jesus and his perfect revelation of who you are.
But who are we to judge what is good and loving?
Our vision is limited, our perspective narrow. So we welcome these early stories of your revealed glory, trusting that what you do in the name of Love is always good.
I can’t help but think of Job and that great wind that came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of his house and killed the young people inside, his sons and daughters. In this story, the storm was the activity of Satan, not you. And surely it grieved your spirit to watch one of your own suffer as Job did. And we are humbled by Job’s response. We sing his words loud in our worship, but do we believe them in our hearts?
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
We’re a people who avoid suffering at all cost, who make an idol of safety and health, who turn our eyes away from the hard. But in these places you are present. It’s in these places where you become the Answer, the Redeemer, the Deliverer, the Savior. These broken down and destroyed places resurrect our need for you.
So Job’s question stirs inside me, tunneling through my faith. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and not accept adversity? I ask this question too. Not of anyone else, but myself.
But these are the words in the story that lead me into a faithful response to the recent destruction:
Through all this, Job did not sin nor did he blame God.
When tragedy strikes, instead of trying to figure you out and answer all the questions and wonder all the whys, I will simply pray for restoration. For restoration, I can be certain, comes by your hand.
So for those without homes, I pray you give them a sense of place in you, environments of grace made of flesh and spirit, not brick and mortar. And those crumbled walls? Use those fewer boundaries to draw communities together.
For those huddled in safety, may they discover how the shelter of the Most High brings rest.
For those who feel like they have nothing to their name, show them they have all things in yours.
For those clearing and rebuilding, may their hands find purpose in redemption.
Where there is death, resurrect new life.
Where there is fear, drive it out with your perfect love.
And when the deep dark fills our skies, let us turn our eyes upon you, trusting that you bring restoration. That you are always making us new. That you will pull us from the rubble and breathe life into our pain and suffering. That if our earthly home is destroyed, you have for us an eternal home in heaven, not made by human hands.
This is our hope.
Blessed be your name.