John 14:1 – Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. (NIV)
I'll admit it. Sometimes I don't have the answers when it comes to the question "Why do 'bad' things happen and where is God?" When friends die, and cancer strikes a small child, I, too, grapple with the meaning of my faith. Sometimes it is easy to believe that God is in control, and sometimes the questions seem to overwhelm me. The current war has forced me to look afresh at my life and ask "Where is God in all this?"
Fortunately, I knew just where to go for answers. My great-grandmother, Sarah Maude Shepherd, gave me a priceless legacy. She died fifty years ago last May, but she left her family a Bible with a scrap of paper containing these priceless words:
- To my children:
I leave this old book as the best heritage I can give. Study it carefully and you will find the way to peace and righteousness and happiness as I have done. If there is ever anything wrong with your lives, come back to this book as if it were a looking glass and it will clearly show you what is the matter. And when you are lost in the world it will guide you home. Mother.
As I search, I'm finding that God's word contains the truth that I need to bring sense to what appears to be a senseless time in our history. Like the prospector panning for gold, I have found nuggets of truth to help me know that God is in control. God loves us. God has made a plan of salvation for us through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus. In God's house are many mansions. Jesus has gone ahead to prepare a mansion for us. He has promised to come again to receive us.
Not only that, he has promised to be with us in the trying times. His word says, "Surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20b NIV)
Have we allowed our busyness, our stress levels, and our search for materialism to squeeze out the time that we need to meet with Almighty God? The truth is that God hasn't moved away from us. God is where we left him and he's waiting for us to draw near. It is hard for God to give us a sense of his protection when we move out of the shelter of his wings.
Prayer: God, help us to discover your presence anew. Renew our faith through the study of your holy word and as we are renewed help us to help others find you. Amen.