Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Peace and Grace in Suffering

Very few moments in time leave me completely speechless.

Monday was one of those days for me.  I watched in horror as the now F-5 tornado barreled through neighborhoods, hospital and even schools.  The feeling of helplessness just swept over me and I was nauseous.  I still have that same nauseous feeling when I see the photos and updates

I would never presume to know God's intent for allowing such a horrifying event to happen.  Only
Neighbors recognized each other and embraced at Briarwood Elementary School
God knows why this has happened, and I trust Him.  I know that it could never happen unless He allowed it, though, because God's Word tells me He is sovereign and in complete control of the earth.  I do believe with all of my heart that if there is any chance that any of these precious people would seek after Him and begin to trust in  Him through this disaster, He will be waiting with open arms.  I also know that those who already trust in Him will be given incredible and unimaginable peace and grace through their pain.

Suffering can usher us into God's arms, because in the midst of it we are reminded most that we are human, we are powerless and we don't have all the answers.  After all, Jesus suffered tremendously here on earth - but because of that suffering, we are now able to be restored to God through Him when we put our faith and trust in Him and what He did for us. His death seemed like the end of the promise, but His resurrection brought hope for all mankind! Brokenness always precedes usefulness with God. As a parent, I cannot imagine the grief God must feel when He sees us suffering. I hate seeing my children hurting. I know His heart is breaking and that He is full of compassion for those in Oklahoma right now.  Psalm 116:15 says, "The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die."

I know from my own personal experience that God's mercy in the midst of suffering is what opened my eyes to His Truth in my life.  I don't think I would have paid attention if He had not allowed suffering in the boundaries of my life and honestly, I'm thankful for that.  No matter what the suffering here on earth, it doesn't even come close to comparing to the suffering of an eternity separated from Him!

The truest disaster of all is someone dying and facing an eternity separated from our merciful and compassionate God.  And He knows this, so He allows things in our life to get our attention while we are still able to call out to Him. Only a loving parent would allow such a thing.

So I am praying those who do not know Him will seek Him and allow Him to comfort them today, not only in Oklahoma, but everywhere in the world, as we all watch and pray for those who are waking up each day now to their new reality. Our suffering does not have to be in vain.

Psalm 103:19 "The Lord has made the heavens His throne; from there He rules over everything." 

If you would like to help out the victims of this devastating tornado, please visit His Radio's Website where we have links to ministries that are already on the ground, helping and bringing Hope to those in need.

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