People come to a minister for all the answers to unanswerable questions, comfort for the sting of excruciating pain, looking for encouragement and faith in times when the only option appears to be uncertainty.
I wish I had all the answers! I wish I possessed all the perfect words, at the perfect time, to heal all the ills of troublesome situations. Try as I will, the older I get and the longer I am in the ministry, I seem to have fewer and fewer answers. There are so many things that happen that I simply do not understand. So many times I cry out: “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”
I do not understand how individuals in the name of religion can blow themselves up killing all who stand around them.
I do not understand how unscrupulous people can devise schemes to take the life savings of elderly people, leaving them scrambling for enough to pay their bills.
I do not understand how a grown man can abuse a little child to achieve his own thoughtless, selfish, gratification.
I do not understand bodies racked with cancer, like my little golf buddy fighting leukemia at 12 years old. His “chemo” treatments are almost unbearable and the toll on parents and grandparents is devastating.
I do not understand why a little child is born with cerebral palsy and can never get out of a wheelchair and dance for joy.
I do not understand why a teenager dies in car wreck leaving such void in the lives of those who loved him.
I do not understand why a man with an engineers mind and faithfulness to Lord must face the reality of Alzheimer’s knowing no one and remembering nothing.
I do not understand why my friend must face the untimely drowning of a son….I simply do not understand.
What am I to say??? When I try to figure it out with human reasoning, I come up empty….I find no reason. If I try to dismiss it as not reality, reality rises up and slaps us in the face. I simply do not understand!
Having said that, I will not waver from the privilege to proclaim God’s faithfulness, His loving kindness, and His matchless grace!
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND MUCH BUT THIS I KNOW!
Jesus loves you and me more than we can fathom or comprehend. And it is in that simple statement we find strength in time of tragedy and the confidence to carry on.
I do not understand many things that take place, but being assured of the Savior’s deep love leads me to trust even when I can’t understand….
Even though the pain is too much to bear, I know my father loves me! His love and concern is unparalleled, unbounded, and circumstances of this life will not change it.
Listen to the Word of God!
”Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death. No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39 NLT)
Absolutely nothing can separate us fro the love demonstrated in the life and death and glorious resurrection of His Son Jesus! It is imperative that we know, intimately know, of God’s deep, unchanging love for us, because without that we will misinterpret the events in our lives and end up shipwrecked, being tossed about on the high seas of insanity.
We have a choice to make, not a one-time, cut-and-dried decision but a daily choice. Will I choose to believe God, be persuaded by His infinite love that leads to my absolute trust in Him? Or listen to Satan and conclude I have been dealt a bad hand and given a raw deal. Will I walk with God or become angry as I walk away from Him?
The enemy tries to convince us that God is unjust, unfair, and unloving. That He is unworthy of our loyalty and affection.
One thing seems obvious. All of us will have some difficulties in life----loss of loved ones----loss of a job----mistreatment from others. YOU can choose to face things by yourself or with God’s help…it’s up to you.
I hope you never have to face grave difficulties where hearts are torn into pieces, and lives shattered. But if you do, in the midst of tragedy do not allow circumstances, sorrow and heartaches cloud your life and nudge you down the road to doubt and disbelief.
Don’t walk that road! That is not the way!
The pain is great, but His love is greater still.
The grief impossible to bear, but His love is greater still.
The sorrow may be deeper than you can imagine, but His love is greater still.
The tears seem never to stop flowing but His love is greater still.
His love is greater still!
Horatio G. Spafford had a very successful law practice in Chicago, and numerous real estate holdings. Mr. Spafford had planned a trip to Great Britain but as he and his family prepared for the trip, last minute business arrangements forced him to stay behind. Mr. Spafford sent his wife and four children ahead on the ship, planning to join them later in Europe.
While Mr. Spafford’s wife and four children were aboard the S.S. Ville du Havre a terrible accident occurred as it was struck by the Lochearn on November 22, 1873. It sank in twelve minutes. Mrs. Spafford survived the accident, but her four children did not. When she reached the mainland, she cabled her husband with the sad message, "Saved alone".
Mr. Spafford boarded a ship to go meet his wife. While crossing the sea….near the place where the tragedy occurred and his four daughters drowned, Spafford penned these words:
“When peace, like a river attendeth my way:
When sorrows like sea billows roll:
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say…
It is Well…..It is well with my soul.
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought; My sin, not in part but the whole….
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more---praise the Lord---Praise the Lord, Oh, my soul.
And Lord haste the day when the faith shall be sight---the clouds be rolled back as a scroll: The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend---even so it is well with my soul.
Can you—amidst even horrible tragedies lift your voice to Almighty God and sing, "It is well with my soul" Or is heartache leading you away from the Father’s heart that yearns to comfort you in your pain?
I want to invite you to pour your heart out to Almighty God. Reach out for the Father’s arms and share your sorrow, your anger, your uncertainty, and your desire to be whole.
It is well……. by Jim Kelly, His Servant