Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Where Was He?

Where was God when a two-year-old boy was dragged into the water by an alligator at a Disneyworld resort? Where was God when 49 people were gunned down in a Florida nightclub? And where was God when an Egypt Air jet with 66 persons onboard went down in the Mediterranean Sea last month?

The answer is that God was in the same place as he was when Stephen was stoned to death, John the Baptist was beheaded, Peter was hanged upside down, Abel was killed by Cain and John Huss was burned at the stake. God was there in each horrific situation, just as he was when his only son was crucified. Certainly, God could have stopped each death. He could have intervened and changed what happened. But he did not. 

We do not understand. We ask why over and over again. Why did he let all of these people die? We would have done everything humanly possible to prevent the deaths. So why didn’t God? Hearing that “we don’t know why” does not offer any of us any comfort. Instead, it leaves us even more confused, more upset and more distraught. There is no way we can reconcile the fact that a God who is all-powerful and all-loving allowed his own creations to die. 

What might help us, though, is to realize we understand life and death only as it is in this world. We know almost nothing about what lies beyond. We can only imagine the wonders of heaven, living in eternity and the thoughts of God. Our trust in him must take us the rest of the way, across the dark chasm of doubt and disbelief. If we trust him, and we have faith in his way, we will at least be able to cope with death. 

Death to us seems like the end. But to God, death in this world is just the beginning to a new life. We may still weep because of our loss; even Jesus wept when he heard about the death of his dear friend Lazarus. Recall what Jesus said when Martha exclaimed, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” John 11:21 ESV. Jesus replied, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” Through our tears, may we take solace in knowing what he said is true. He is eternal proof that only our bodies die. Our true life in him lives on forever.  

Copyright © 2016 Bruce W. Swaffield, PhD, used with permission.

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