Time and time again, we have all seen and heard of tragic, horrific events that have impacted an unprecedented number of people around the world. Events that have been lead off by natural disasters, world famine, wars, riots, and many inexplicable calamities. If we were to narrow down the tragic turn of events too within our own neighborhood or home, we would find at times we have more questions than we have answers. One of the questions many have asked is,
“Where is God in all of this?”
These are the events that have robbed us from our own words and even expressions. We are left with good intentions, hopes and wishes and not really knowing how to take action. It is human nature to ask, “Where is God” or “How could a loving God allow this to happen?” when tragedy makes an unforgiving appearance. Where is God when we lose a beloved family member? Where is God when the only bread winner of a single income family looses his or her job? Where is God when all you do is put your best foot forward with the best attitude and things just do not seem to turn out the way you would like? Why would an all mighty, all knowing and loving God allow this to happen? Couldn’t have God prevented this?
This post is not geared to provide all the politically correct answers to these types of questions, but to provide motivation, encouragement, iNspire faith, and another perspective on the one question many of us have asked ourselves.
“Where is God in all this mess?”
Many times I have found myself asking these types of questions in the middle of life’s most traumatic events or in the middle of the molding process that God has guided me through.
When you are placed in the wine press and put through traumatic developments, one will ask questions like, “Where is God?” Or “My God, why have you forsaken me?” Once you have stood fast and survived it all you will see how the wine maker savors the exceptional taste of the wine that once was a grape.
When these types of questions surface, I can’t help but to turn to the Word for answers. (KJV) Luke 10:38-42 Jesus makes himself present in the home of Martha and her sister Mary. In that very moment Martha rushes to tidy up the place. She wants to prepare a presentable environment, perhaps serve the most exquisite dish known to her. Mary on the other hand chooses to sit at His feet simply to hear the Master speak. In this moment there is nothing more important for Mary than to be tentative to the Word. Martha’s instinct to serve cannot be overlooked. No one can blame her for wanting to present her best, but Jesus let it be known. Mary chose what is better and it could not be taken from her. Jesus made himself present in a home where not everyone was willing to tune in to what He had to say. Jesus was present even if He was not everyone’s priority. Jesus was present even if He was not the center of attention. However, Jesus was present.
Later, in John 11 we read about Lazarus’s death. The news about Lazarus being sick reaches Jesus, but decides to delay. Finally, Jesus arrives to be met by Martha’s claims. “If only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” After Jesus ministers to her heart and her faith, he asks for Mary. As soon as Mary arrives she again positions herself in a familiar way, at His feet. Something Martha had yet to do. Even though her question was the same as Martha’s, it came from a different position, from her knees. Its seems to carry a more tender tone. “If only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus once again made himself present, but this time in a time of need. Jesus made himself present in a time of mourning. Jesus made himself present even though it seemed too late, when it could have been prevented. Jesus was present. We all know what happens next.
In the next chapter, John 12 Jesus makes an appearance, only this time fashionably late for the party. I assume fashionably late just because the author sets the tone as if everyone was already present when Jesus makes an entrance. Everyone is at the table to celebrate the resurrection of Lazarus. Jesus makes himself present, presumably so since the dinner is in His honor. I love how they did not fail to honor and praise Jesus for what He had done even though Lazarus was the one who was back from the dead.
Nevertheless, Martha was at it again, but this time seemingly with a different attitude. As if she had a different motive since she last spoke with Jesus. Martha’s gracious instinct was again to serve. Since the first time Jesus entered her home, she was serving. Here, the author takes note on the fact, Martha again served at this party. Mary however, without saying a word, walks up to Jesus and once again takes her familiar place. Kneels down at his feet and Mary’s instinct is to worship Jesus and pours out an expensive perfume. The fragrance of her worship spreads and fills the house saturating with an undeniably, wonderful aroma.
I could not disregard how Jesus makes himself present for the celebration. Yes, it is in his honor, but who wouldn’t show up to their own party! Jesus was also present to celebrate the resurrection of Lazarus. Jesus was present to celebrate with his friends he considered family and whom he loved. Jesus was present in the festivities after the resurrection. Jesus was present after the need was met. After mourning was turned to peace. After the sadness was turned to joy and laughter.
Jesus is present even if only one is willing to be in His presence. Jesus is present even if no one other than yourself is willing to hear His word. Jesus is present at times when all hope seems lost. Jesus is present even if there seems to be no answer. Jesus is the answer. Jesus is present when the situation seems as if it is too late even for a miracle.
Remember this, Jesus is also present in the celebration! After the need is met, after the many prayers are answered, after He provides the miracle, after He makes all things new, He makes himself present not only in time of need, but also in the time of celebration!
God is present in every situation. God is present in our wondering, in our distraction, in our complaints and questions. God is present. God is present in every need and in every situation that seems impossible. God is present when all hope seems lost. God is present when we cannot find the answers. God is present when the Drs have no answers or explanations. God is present in ways we do not expect. God is present when we cannot make sense of it all. God is also present to celebrate the wonderful blessings with you. God is present to celebrate your new miracle with you! God is present to celebrate what was impossible for man and now made possible with God. God wants to be our guest of honor in our daily lives. GOD-IS-PRESENT!