Wednesday, January 20, 2010
On the heels of Haiti's incomprehensible horror, I want to linger over Psalm 46.
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging" (Psalm 46:1-3)
This horror reminds me of the concentration camps... too awful to imagine. In the movie, The Hiding Place, there was a scene of Betsie and Corrie Ten Boom as they led some women in a conversation about God’s love. An angry violinist on the lower bunk, huddled by necessity with the other women, shook her fists at Betsie. Once nimble fingered, accustomed to beautiful music, she’d been sorely injured in heart and hand by cruelty and forced labor.
‘Where is your loving God now?' Her taunt... reasonable... hung in the air for just a second before Bestie’s answer.
I remember Betsie’s answer was peaceful. It was something like, "If you knew Him, you would know He is good."
That kind of peace can only come from a deep KNOWING that God is truly good and is with us. In all our circumstances.
Suffering often thrusts us into a desperate search for answers. As we keep searching, we find One who is the answer, and who lovingly draws close.
Sometimes God's presence shows up in a white hot fire with Daniel’s three friends (Daniel 3:16-30). Sometimes, His presence gives us grace to die. More recently, God has been coming to many, dressed in human flesh, digging rubble, cleaning wounds, giving genrously and praying fervently.
For Your Consideration
“[Jesus] took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed"(See Isaiah 53, The Message).
Do you think Jesus' suffering for you was like or unlike His suffering for the people of Haiti?
How might the promises of Romans 8, epecially verse 28, help you process grief and suffering?
Will you pray that many in Haiti (and those who help) will come to know Jesus by name and in the power of His saving grace?
A classic devotional which often addresses suffering is Streams in the Desert. I highly recommend it.