June 6, 2011

Hope in the Darkness

Over the last month or so, I have been like every other web junkie when a tragedy happens.  I've spent too much time taking in all the images and the videos that people have posted.  I marvel at the power the earth, whether it be in the form of a tornado or an earthquake and tsunami.  Yet, while marveling, my soul hurts for those affected.

South had a group of people go to Tuscaloosa a few weeks ago to help with the disaster relief.  Last week we got to hear about their experience first hand and see the images and videos they shot.  They put together a video with some personal testimonies about their experiences.  One of the comments that stuck out to me was by Justin Beauchamp, one of our members.  He said, "How could a loving God let a tornado like that take place?"  He then goes on to talk about how even in the darkness of the disaster, God is shining through and using what happened for good as people are cared for and get to know that God and His people love them.

I've been trying to wrap my head around all that has happened over the last few months in the world.  While I don't think God specifically caused any of the natural disasters to happen, the statement, "how could a loving God allow something like this to happen" is a tough thing to grasp.  Why would he let things like this happen?

This all makes me think of Job.  Job was a man who lost everything. He had every right to question God and ask, "What is going on here!?"  In Job 1, God allows the tempter to beat up on Job. He loses his oxen, donkeys, and camels to thieves and his servants are killed. His sheep are burned up by fire from the sky.
Then, a strong wind blows down the house that his sons and daughters are in and they all die.

What was Job's response?  
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
Put in Job's situation or the situation of any of the people who lost loved ones in the disasters that have recently happened, I hope and pray that I would be able to have the same attitude.  I think Job has something to teach us.  I think he would ask us the question:  Is it our job to really comprehend what is going on around us and why it is happening?  Or, is it our job to be faithful and trust that God is in control even in the darkness?  Maybe its a combination of the two, with more emphasis being on the being faithful no matter what.