If Grace Is An Ocean, We're All Sinking
There was a fatal car accident in our town over the weekend. A lady and her nine year-old grand daughter were sitting at a stop light when a car driving the opposite direction, lost control and struck them. The grandmother was killed instantly, and the little girl died later in the hospital.
My wife texted me this morning with these words. "[She was] just sitting there minding her own business... That quick one of us could be gone."
I've been thinking about her words all morning, and about a conversation I had with one of our church's elders yesterday. "Where is God when bad things happen?"
I've written about this pretty extensively over the past year, but it bears repeating that I believe God is in the midst of our suffering, with us in the moments of pain, tragedy and heartache--just as I believe God is with us in our moments of triumph, joy, happiness and success.
In Isaiah 57:15, the prophet speaks the words of God to God's people:
For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.
We are surrounded, enveloped and overwhelmed by the grace of God, but like fish swimming in the ocean, with no real concept of the water around them, we spend most of our lives unaware of God's presence.
I think that we also spend most of our lives unaware of the fragility of our lives. We plan, and work and spend our time as though we have an infinite supply of it in this life. And when bad things happen, when change occurs suddenly, we get bad news, a tragedy takes place... we are forced to confront our lack of control.
And that's when so many of us start wondering where God is in the middle of our bad things. I think the most daring, difficult and challenging thing we can do as followers of Jesus is to constantly seek God--in good times as well as bad, and even in the worst, most terrible moments.
Jeremiah 29:13 has these incredible words of hope, imbedded in a not-so-subtle challenge: "You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." If, even in moments of crisis or tragedy, we seek God with all of our heart, God promises that we will find God.
May you seek the LORD today with all of your heart. May you earnestly desire to see God, experience God and feel God in all of the moments of your day--the triumphant moments, the mundane moments and even the terrible moments.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.