Sometimes you really have to wonder, ‘Where is God in all this mess?’
A week of bushfires that claimed 200 homes and, more tragically, the life of a young father in an aeroplane crash as he fought the fires; the ongoing dry spell with no harvest and graziers selling off stock; and our supermarket, that not only supplied a town’s food but was the livelihood of work for many, destroyed by fire after an accident.
Events like these seem so random, unkind, and unfair. Of course, such events have happened throughout history but it’s hard when it’s right around us or when it’s people we know personally. It’s natural to ask, ‘Where is God, and if he’s there, does he really care?’
Similar questions were being asked by a group of people under the oppression of forced slavery and, more tragically, a national genocide by the death of all male babies born. The story of those people is found in a book called Exodus, in the Bible. Their questions and cries for help to God give us good insight and help.
The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them (Exodus 2:23–25).
God hears our cries and he remembers his promises to us. He looks on with concern. But more importantly, he comes down to rescue his people. He isn’t asleep or staying at an arm’s length, he comes down in the thick of our mess to rescue. A few chapters later in Exodus it all becomes clear….
God is mighty to save and his plans can’t he stopped. Through miracles of plagues and parting the Red Sea, to personally speaking to his people, to providing their daily needs in a barren wilderness, and coming among them in his full glory – God remembers and he cares.
In the midst of pain and suffering it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. And, we don’t always know what is about to happen in the next ‘few chapters’ of life. The resounding message of the Bible is that God is in control. Despite our circumstances and present experiences, God still sits on the throne. He hears our cries, cares, and has the power to act.
At times we wonder how God can allow tragedy. And in honesty, we don’t always get satisfying answers to that age-old question. But what we do get is God’s answer to tragedy, pain, suffering, and evil. That’s the good news of Jesus – God our Saviour is with us. God entered into our world to take on all it’s pain, suffering, and brokenness in his own body on that Cross.
What’s more, God has shown he is in control and has a good plan for his world in his Son Jesus. He wants us to cry out to him for help, and he does hear. God’s promises are all centered in Jesus, and so he asks that we put our hope and trust in Jesus.
Come be reminded of who God is at St Peter’s church 21 Pitt St this Sunday 9am or St John’s church 58 Wilson St Collarenebri Sunday 3.30pm as we open the book of Exodus, or listen to the talks at: http://www.walgettanglican.wordpress.com/bible-talks. God is still with us and still as concerned as ever, come see and hear!