Where is God in all this?
I was blown away last week when I logged onto a favourite social media site and discovered 90% of my friends had temporarily changed their photo image to incorporate the French flag. The solidarity with France following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris is wide spread around the world. People who have no links with France are pulling together to support those who do.
However, one thing that is not surprising in the slightest is the numerous people who are asking the same question. A question that has plagued men and women for centuries. A question that is always asked when something major happens.
The 20th Century saw a conglomerate of atrocities that affected the world both physically, mentally and spiritually. June 28th 1914, Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria was assassinated sparking the start of World War 1 which led to over 17 million deaths. People asked, “Where is God in all this?”
Following a global depression and a rise of a dictator, the world was thrust into war again on September 1st 1939. Millions were killed, injured or made homeless. Lives were changed forever and people asked, “Where is God in all this?”
China suffered the worst earthquake of the century in 1979, with over 240 000 people killed, as the world looked on, they asked “Where is God in all this?” In 1984, the world discovered 8 million Ethiopians starving to death: terrorist hijacking of a plane in 1985; 1988, a terrorist bomb caused the crash of Pan Am Flight 103 killing 270 people in Lockerbie; 800 die when Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupts; Bosnian genocide began in 1992; Rwandan genocide in 1994; the world’s deadliest Subway disaster Baku Metro in Azerbaijan in 1995; Columbine High School shootings in 1999; Whilst the world looked on they asked, “Where is God in all this?”
The 21st Century has a similar picture: the twin buildings of the World Trade Center destroyed in 2001, 3000 dead; over 400 affected by the Bali bombings, 2002; Earthquakes, bombings, wars all ending the lives of millions and leaving many more wondering, “Where is God in all this?”
So, where is God? Has he had enough and left us to our own devices? Perhaps he regrets creating us and has washed his hands of us or maybe he realises after his son, Jesus has been killed that we will never change.
Well, the Bible says otherwise. In John, chapter 1, we are told ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.’ Jesus came to Earth, the son of the creator of the universe came to live among us not to judge us but to show us the way to God. As John 3:16 says, he came because God loved us so much. He came to save us from … well … us. Jesus, who was there at the beginning of the universe, who was involved in the very creation process, walked the Earth to remind us of God’s love. How? Did he overthrow the powerful Roman army? Did he encourage the Jews to fight back? No, he simply died. He willingly allowed the ruling authorities of the time to charge him, sentence him and execute him. And why? So that we may fear death no longer.
Following his resurrection, Jesus spoke with his disciples and gave this promise, ‘And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt 28:20) God has never left us. God will never leave us. He has promised as such and his promises are always fulfilled.
“But,” you might say, “that’s all very well, what about all the pain and suffering in the world, why does he not intervene?” OK, fair question, but answer this, what happens following every disaster ever recorded? What one thing always follows when the world hears of a serious famine, devastating flood, a life-taking earthquake, or a terrorist attack causing the lives of many to be turned upside down? What happened following the attacks in Paris?
Once you realise the answer, then you will realise how much intervening God actually does.
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”