Have you ever felt like giving up watching the evening news? I must admit I have. Every time I watch, I come away disheartened by the lack of godly leadership from both sides of the political spectrum and around our world. Fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters seem to be increasing in frequency and scope. The rise of racial strife causes me to mourn that hatred and distrust are gaining ground. The rich seem to be getting richer and the vulnerable and defenseless seem to be suffering more. There are many more heart-wrenching situations that cause me to feel totally helpless and powerless. I want to cry out, “Where is justice? Where is righteousness? Where are YOU, God?
On Sunday, I had the blessing and privilege of listening to my former pastor, Rev. Stan Mast, preach on Psalm 42 and 43. What he said greatly inspired me. Permit me to share my thoughts with you while giving full credit to Rev. Mast for his ability to preach the word of God with transforming power.
In Psalm 42-43 we see a man who understands what it means to be disheartened as God seems silent and far away. Even his enemies taunt him with the question, “Where is your God?” But amid his dismay he cries out in faith three times saying, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” He reminds himself that He is not alone…his God is a big, big God…a God who is can be trusted and is worthy of praise.
The God of the Psalmist is our God, too. When we are feeling discouraged, helpless, disappointed, and powerless at what is happening in our own lives or around the world, when others mockingly ask, “Where is your God,” we need to remember that we know where God is. Permit me to quote Rev. Mast who said it so well, “Where is our God? At the intersection of suffering and sovereignty, wherever God’s sovereignty meets human suffering, wherever our Father uses suffering to save His children, as He did on the cross.”
As you look at the suffering in this world, look a little closer and you will find God at the intersection where His loving, compassionate sovereignty meets the deepest needs of our broken world.
On South Division sitting next to the homeless, Viet Nam vet
In the refugee camp, cradling a hungry child in His arms
Sitting on the bed next to the teenager who has been bullied so much she doesn’t want to go on
Embracing the elderly couple who is surveying their burned-out home
Walking beside the business man who has just been downsized and now has no job
In the cancer treatment center as patients receive chemo
Holding the elderly man at the memory loss center who can barely communicate
Sitting next to the lonely widow who has no idea how she is going to go on with our her beloved
In the prison cell reminding the inmate that in Christ there is freedom
At Wedgwood loving abandoned children through the staff and chaplains
On the battle field, as young men and women put themselves in harms way for our freedom
Wherever there is suffering, there is God!
When you are suffering and want to know where God is, He is right there, at the intersection – the intersection of sovereignty and suffering! Thanks be to God!!