“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
These words from Psalm 22:1. were spoken many centuries ago and have been on the lips of countless millions of perplexed men and women as years have gone by.
An intensely human question and we are startled to find it on the lips of Jesus as he hung from the cross.
Today, tragedies destroy so many lives and cause so much suffering; we to cry out “My God, My God why have you forsaken us?” We ask ourselves “where is this God of love?”
We wonder “is God in control?”
We wonder “What is God’s plan? or what was God thinking to allow this?”
Don’t you ever wish we could whisper in God’s ears, “Why don’t you make it a little more obvious that you are in charge!”
So, it might be a good time to shore up our understanding of God’s plan, to see if we can understand God’s role in helping us face so many tragedies.
According to Genesis, in the beginning God looked over everything SHE had made and was pleased and it was GOOD. But notice God didn’t offer us protection from pain, suffering, death or natural disasters, but she told us her “GREAT DESIGN” was good right from the start.
The DESIGN is simple and compassionate (1)“God’s will always love us and (2) wants everyone, to live together in peace and harmony.
We all witness natural disasters that are far too big for us to understand-- Earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis, flooding , --The disastrous forest fires that plaque the U.S and Canada’s north. The flooding in Calgary, Toronto destroying thousands of homes and wrecking the health of people. .
The complexities of these tragedies are beyond us, we have to admit we will never understand why. All we can say is “they must go with the PRIVILEGE and JOY of living in such a dynamic and beautiful world as ours.” We all know the saying “ they come with the territory.”
But natural disasters are only one side of the coin!
There are many tragedies are brought on by humans: Where does God fit in these? --We ask ourselves “why has God permitted this wrong, this sickness, this accident, this savage crime-- all which tear apart our happiness?” We ask for help and understanding as written in Psalm 25:4-5; “Make me know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me.”
- Last month a tragedy hit us right in our own backyard in Lac Magantic taking the lives of 50 men and women -- more recently the train derailment in Spain 78 people dead. We cry out in our grief, “Where was God?
This morning, scripture gives us a clue “ God resides in all Her people,” It seems we can best describe God’s as a PRESENCE inside each one of us sharing the good times and the bad times.
God is there in Lac Magantic and Spain suffering with Her people; giving love and comfort. It is God’s Presence in each of us that encourages everyone to give a loving, helping hand. We see people of all provinces volunteering, donating money, food, clothing and medical help to these unfortunate people get their lives back to some form of normalcy.
But the question still haunts us, “Whose is responsible?”
-If someone forgot to lock the train brakes in Lac Magantic.
-If the train engineer didn’t slow down on a dangerous curve in Spain.
-If a youngster drowns in a swimming pool
-If someone drinks and drives and causes death
-This week a 6 year old girl was killed in WalMart parking lot.
The list goes on and on.
A good many people have a fixed idea that God is directly behind all that comes our way, the good and the bad. They say;
"It is just God's will. You will have to accept it."
"God never puts on anyone more than he or she can bear."
"If you had enough faith you could get out of this mess."
"I know how you feel."
These statements are cruel and far beyond the truth as we know. We need to be more compassionate to those suffering through a loss. We need to show FAITH that God was right there in the midst of our bad situations consoling those suffering.
During creation, God gave us, the responsibility over all the inhabitants in the world and I’m sad to report WE ARE NOT DOING SO GOOD.
The United Nations report: “29,000 children die every single day” as a result of “avoidable diseases and malnutrition.”
It’s hard to imagine, but our governments, businesses and social systems has made all this suffering possible, suffering far, far in excess of all the suffering caused natural disasters.
All this suffering is happening while the wealthiest people enjoy excess food-- worry about losing weight—drive fancy cars --indulge in lotos tickets and casinos—diverted farmer’s crops to produce ethanol instead of food.
When these things happen they are opposite God’s will. They are not God’s original way—not part of Her plan and if only we can grasp this.
In the Bible we find many examples of how God took personal tragedies and gave them responsibility to further her plan:
- Joseph (4000 years ago)
-sold into slavery slave-ended as PM. of Egypt
-forgave his brothers—saved Egypt from famine.
-King David—murdered his army captain wanted his wife
-repented—became Israel’s greatest king
-Apostle Paul (persecuted followers of Jesus)
Converted—greatest Apostle—3 shipwrecks--flung into prison-writes letters - N.T. is mostly Paul’s letters.
Today God is still acting in people’s lives, using a bad turn of events to help us on our quest for peace.
-branded a terrorist-imprisoned for 25 years
-becomes P.M. of S. Africa-ended Apartheid.
Terry Fox.-disabled by cancer.
-started a run for cancer before he died
-now yearly runs -raised millions of $$$
Malala Yousafzai 16 yrs. Old--Pakistan—survived Taliban assassination—spoke at UN-pen & books powerful weapons.
—Martin Luther King Jr. and many other average citizens who after a tragedy have gone to help make the world a better place.
God is using these people and Adapting their situation to advance love, peace and harmony.!
IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE:
There are times when it’s hard for us to fathom God’s love in our ever changing world.
The bible tells us that there is no end to God’s love.
-a love so great God loved us before we loved Her,
-a love that is a gift and can’t be earned,
-A love that will not forsake us;
- A God who will search for the good in all people.
The greatest example of God in action was the “EXECUTION OF JESUS ON THE CROSS
I don’t think it was God’s will that men should crucify Jesus.
I believe “GOD’S WAS IN AGONY,” God suffered on that cross with that Jesus, as with each of us who suffer.
Yet, this tragic event became a victory of love, the unmerited love of God. God took the cruelty of men and adapted what they did to Jesus on that cross to be the vehicle by which she could spread the message of love around the world. The cross cemented God’s Plan.
Psalm 24:1 tells us “the earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it; the world and those who live in it.”
The question is, “Do we trust God or not?” Ultimately that is the
answer to all of life through good times and bad. Do we trust
God? If we trust God, all the rest of life will fall in place.
We may walk through the valley, as written in the 23rd. Psalm.
BUT WE KNOW WE DO NOT WALK ALONE.
Thanks be to God. AMEN