How Faint The Whisper
I recently watched several videos made by people who are currently trapped in the city of Aleppo, Syria. The government forces are even now moving closer to the rebel-held areas of the city, bombardments have been renewed, more destruction is imminent.
Many of the people making the videos declared that they would probably be the last ones they would make. "[Government forces] are executing people in the streets," one woman grimly declared. Behind her you could make out the bombed out, burned out remains of what had once been a thriving city.
When the innocent are wounded and killed... When war rages... When disaster strikes... When in our own lives we experience loss, grief and pain... The question that comes to our minds most often is simply, "Where is God?"
I admit, sometimes it's harder for me to come up with comforting answers to that question--especially when I'm the one asking it. However, I do take some small comfort in knowing that we're not alone when we wonder if God is taking a powder when bad things are happening.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, Job acknowledges this conflict when he says, "And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?" (Job 26:14)
The best and purest way to understand what God is up to in the world is through Jesus--the fullest expression of God to us. Through Jesus we find accessibility to the Almighty, knowledge of the Unknowable, evidence of the beloved presence of the Omnipresent.
In John 8:12, Jesus declares: "I am the light of the world. The person who follows me will never live in darkness, but will have the light that gives life." Jesus embodies God for us, enabling us to understand what God is saying, what God loves, what God abhors, what God wants for us and for all of Creation.
And we also know through Jesus' own experience that sometimes when things are very, very bad, we wonder where God is in the midst of it. After all, when Jesus was on the cross, he cried out "My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?" This should give us all hope when we wonder, doubt and struggle because, as we know, God never left Jesus alone. In fact, God raised Jesus from the dead to prove it.
May you find ways to look to Jesus today as you wrestle with knowing and experiencing God. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.