Thursday, September 21, 2006

Where are you?

Tommy Nelson told a story years ago at a Conference that I attended, and I remember it, nearly word for word, and I'd like to share it with you. Apparently the former president of a big and thriving ministry raised a "rebellious son". When his son finally straightened out, he was tragically killed in a car accident. The man was heartbroken, and in a desperate moment of grief he cried out, "Lord, I take better care of Your children than you do of mine. Where were you when my son died?" The Lord answered, "The same place I was when My son died." In that statement was peace for this man.

I remember this story so often because so often really really bad things happen...things like divorce, death, rape, depression, cancer, and even things that sound innocuous but can be devastating, like lonelineness or stress or fear. These things shock and beat down and paralyze, leaving a person stranded, naked on the floor in that strange silence that resounds with screams and wails. Its awful...and its not uncommon.

People ask, "Where is God?" or "Why did He let this happen?" "How can He be loving and let me hurt so badly?" When I think about these questions, I usually don't have a good answer to them. I know that God is there and that His eyes are on the nations, so He sees. I know that He can be trusted even if it seems like He's playing Russian Roulette with your life...He's pretty wild a lot of the time, but He's good...He's always good. His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Maybe the crazy King David, who surely had every reason to wonder what in the world God was thinking, said it best in a song he wrote...

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up
My eyes are not raised too high for Thee
I do not think on things too great or marvelous
Or matters too difficult for me
But I have calmed and quieted my soul
Like a weened child is my soul within me
But I have calmed and quieted my soul

Like a weened child with its mother is my soul within me.

O Israel, trust in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.

Not having any children of my own, my closest image of a weened child with its mother is when horse breeders ween their foals. The babies are separated from the mares and placed in their own stall or pasture, and for hours, even days, they will pace and cry and scream for their mothers. All they want is to be together again, safe and secure at their mother's side.

And David understood that when things got too hard and the questions he was asking would only make him crazy, he trusted the Lord, and drew near, and found a baby finds peace with its mother, so David found it in the Lord. Now I'm not saying don't ask the questions or seek the answers. I am saying that some of the questions will remain unanswered for a long time because only the Lord why He does some of that which He does. And when you can't handle things anymore, and when really really bad things happen, picture our Father as a mother, and find peace there. Find peace there.

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