Why, God? Why?

Devotional thought of the Day:

 1  At that time some people were there who told Jesus about the Galileans whom Pilate had killed while they were offering sacrifices to God. 2  Jesus answered them, “Because those Galileans were killed in that way, do you think it proves that they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3  No indeed! And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did. 4  What about those eighteen people in Siloam who were killed when the tower fell on them? Do you suppose this proves that they were worse than all the other people living in Jerusalem? 5  No indeed! And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did.”   Luke 13:1-5 (TEV)

A lot of people are writing today about 9-11, the memories, the pain, the “we will never forget” type statements that are true on such anniversaries, but aren’t always remembered 4 months and 13 days from now.

We remember where we were, I was at a Del Taco in Yucca Valley, grabbing a quick breakfast before heading to play golf at a Marine base.  We remember the shock and hurt and pain. I remember calling the radio station in town and telling them my church would be open for anyone to come and pray.. or to come and talk.  Many did, then other churches did the same…

But I don’t think about that every day.  There have been other tragedies Katrina and Sandie, other traumas (wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, other events like closing our school), other deaths (over 100 friends since then… including close close friends like Clyde and Warren and Joseph).

And in each rtauma –  I want to hear the same answer – the question that everyone wants to ask, and some do.

Why, God?  Why?

There are the cliche’d answers, Some are true – but empty sounding at the time.

There are the answers given in ignorance, that simply ingore the pain, the hurt, the anxiety.

There are hard sermons and message and blogs – some even using the passage above – that basically say, “before another trauma hits – you better get your act straight with your God.” and  “repent – for death can come in the twinkling of an eye.”

And they miss the point.

Repentance is not something we come to naturally, it is not something we can “will” when our hearts our tugged and made to feel guilt and shame.  In Acts 5 and 11 it says it is granted by the Holy Spirit, it is a gift.  It is the changing, not just of behaviors, but of minds and hearts, things promised to us when Christ is revealed, when God cleanses us of all unrighteousness – to be honest – something we struggle with at the best of times.

But repentance brings us to a place where we can deal with life – even with the traumas and trageides of life.  It’s not something we do, it’s something we become.  It’s that place of peace, that only comes from trusting in God’s faithfulness, in God love.  It’s a place where we know God is God.  Not just academically, but with our spiritu, our heart, our soul.  Repentance, this amazing transformation is the place martyrs find, when they like Stephen cry out those those killing them be forgiven.  It’s the place where we find God so present, that we fall in awe, crying even as His relief sweeps over us.

It is where we realize we may not in this life ever understand the “why?”, that the answer given may evade us… and we are okay with that.. because we know God is with us.

It is the place where hope conquers despair, where trust overcomes our doubts…. where life conquers death.

12 years ago, as planes crashed, as towers fell, people who hadn’t stepped in a church for decades… came… they came two weeks later to Desert Christ Park, where hundreds gathered to worship and pray.  Despite our pain, despite our anxiety…. from the hearts of people a song rose out – and after the verses finished, the chorus seemed to just keep going – even without us musicians playing….

Hear these words we sang… and let them help you realize… the answer you need..

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Refrain:
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Refrain:
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Refrain:
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

May the Lord’s mercy be so evident, may His faithfulness be so revealed to you… that even on these days where sorrow again tears at our heart… that you know it is well with your soul!

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on September 11, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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