Gail Rodgers Sharing the Journey

Feelings Part 02 - Feeling Overwhelmed

When tragedy strikes…does God care?

We watch our TV screens in horror. The pain and agony of fellow human beings in the midst of all kinds of disaster goes beyond our comprehension. We grapple with the magnitude of it. Our minds scramble to make sense of it and we simply cannot. Opinions fly from every side. “Its God’s judgment”, some say. Others say,” It’s a sign of the end times”. “It’s a test from God”, claim some. Still others say, “God has nothing to do with it”. Some declare, “There is no God”, while others say “God is cruel and heartless”.

Just where is God when hardship or disaster strikes? Whether it comes wreaking havoc in our private world or whether we see it in mammoth proportions on our TV screen, we can’t help but question and wonder.

Does God care when the tidal waves of life sweep in unexpectedly and tear at the very fiber of our being with inexpressible grief?

The answer is “yes”!

Yet, to find the comfort He offers we must first get past the questions.

When Jesus walked this earth He told His followers that in this world there would be trouble. Since the beginning of time there has been struggle on this earth. Germs and weeds; storms and insects; people problems, money problems, disease…

From God’s Word we know that God set things in motion on this earth. He gave us a choice to include Him in our lives…or to live independent of Him.

  • Sometimes our troubles are the result of our own choices and have brought their own consequences to our daily lives.
  • Sometimes the free will choices of others impact our lives in a hard way.
  • Sometimes we may face spiritual battle and need to take our stand in the mighty strength of Jesus.
  • From God’s Word we know that sometimes God does send judgment.
  • Sometimes He does allow the testing of our faith.

When we find ourselves appalled at the overwhelming things happening in life we often cannot determine the reason. It may be the world and the forces of nature set in motion at the foundation of the world; it may be consequences of our own flesh and choices we have made; it may the choices others have made; it may be spiritual opposition from the enemy of our soul or it may come from the very hand of God.

We can agonize over the possibilities as we seek to answer the heart wrenching, “Why?” Yet we cannot fathom God nor can we always determine the answer to the difficult “why?” even though we desperately try.

The hope that we have in times of severe circumstances and agonizing grief is the knowledge that God does care and He will help us through. He promises to redeem the broken places in our lives and bring good from them as we invite Him into the hard places and the unanswered questions.

Often our unanswered questions leave us blaming God and we distance ourselves from the very One who can bring comfort to the anguished heart.

We know God sees everything that happens to us. Nothing is a surprise to Him. We wish He would intervene and stop the pain. We wish children did not die and loved ones were not lost. The consequence of sin in our world and man’s free will choice to often leave God out brings destruction in various ways. As our lives play out on planet Earth we find ourselves with a choice to make.

We can believe God is a God of love OR we can turn from Him in anger. We can believe that His heart is always for us OR we can believe He is cruel and mean. Running TO Him in the midst of our anguish will take us into His arms of comfort. Pushing Him away will leave us alone with only desperation in our souls.

The main theme running through the Bible is God’s great love for us. Over and over He tells us that He sent His son, Jesus, to this earth to heal broken hearts. Even King David, known to be a man after God’s heart, went through times of great tears to the point that those around him questioned, “Where is your God?” (Psalm 42) Yet he also knew how the Lord took note of his anguish and recorded his tears. (Psalm 56:8) He ran to God for strength in his despair.

When we simply cannot understand the twists and turns of our path, we CAN run to the One who will anchor us. He doesn’t promise our lives will be free of trouble, yet He does promise to hold us close through it all.

Never doubt God’s love and care for you. He hurts when you hurt. His son, Jesus, went up the agonizing hill to the cross and understands the deep anguish the soul can plunge to. That’s why we can trust Him to be with us in our times of overwhelming stress.

  • God continually calls us to come to Him with our burdens and find rest for our souls. (Matthew 11:28 & 29)
  • He invites us to cast our worries on Him because He cares. (1 Peter 5:7)
  • He invites us to come to His throne and ask for mercy and grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
  • He will be our Comforter in sorrow when our heart is faint (Jeremiah 8:18)
  • He offers strength when we are weak (Philippians 4:13)
  • He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3)

When our minds cannot comprehend the tragic events we find ourselves in… our hearts can reach to the God of all Comfort to find the strength we need to get through today and to know that there will be hope for tomorrow.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3 & 4).

prayer & reflection

Father in Heaven,
Thank you that You know the questions in my heart today. Thank you that You love me and promise to redeem my life from the pit as I call on You to hold me and help me. Today I choose to run TO You in my pain and not from You. Bring Your peace to my heart. Lead my feet in the right way to go. Shelter me in Your love today and guide me.
I ask this in the powerful name of Jesus with thanksgiving, amen.