When tragic events occur, many voices are raised in a mighty chorus asking “Where was God?”
Many of the voices in that chorus have not spoken the word “God” in a while….not since the last tragedy.
A simple series of answers come to mind:
God was where He was when by His grace He gave you the life that you now claim to be yours.
God was where He was when He allowed you to bask in His sunshine or play in His snow.
God was where He was when He allowed you to benefit from so many things that you now take for granted. You even claim them to be yours: “Mine and my” roll off your tongue easily without respect for THE SOURCE.
Critically, God was where He is now, as by His Grace, He allows you another breath to be able to read this.
God is where He has been before the creation of the world: Everywhere.
If you are really serious about finding Him, you will. He promises to reward those who diligently seek Him.
God created man in His own image. Man was intended to be different from plants and animals. He gave man the option to choose. Free will was to be a special gift for man. We messed up and now that freedom to choose is more like a curse.
The abuse of free will is what causes us to have to endure the bad and the good.
Understanding who God is and His will for our lives allows obedient believers to better weather the storms of life.
Here are some thoughts that I support:
Thank you, Trevor; thought-provoking views. I believe much of what you say and support the views on the clip. My take on it is that, for many, the question “Where was God?” is an expression of the anger stage of grief in which we seek someone or something to blame. For those who believe and behave accordingly, this anger is exacerbated by the feeling of betrayal, the feeling that those hurt are guiltless and undeserving. This is especially true of chidlren, who are incapable of “deserving” such horrible suffering. It is worsened by the feeling, which may never be spoken, that God should never have given life to the evil perpetrator.
It is also a cry of desperation, of hope that somewhere, somehow, there might be an answer, an answer to provide evidence of God’s reason for allowing such things to happen. It is hard to see God in the lives saved, the goodness that prevailed, the generosity elicited, the fact that people gain the strength to continue, that perhaps, good will emerge from the blood. The light in these signs of God’s presence is dimmed by the magnitude of the evil, the tendency to forget that the perpetrator was, not long ago, as innocent and beautiful a gift from God, as his victims were. The loss is too devastating, the meaning too frightening, the pain too deep to allow us to ask ourselves, what happened to that boy; where did his beauty and innocence go?
For those whose beliefs may have wavered or who had none at all, the question is ironic- a sign that despite not believing, we cry out in times of great pain for the very God whose existence we deny. Unfortunately the grief prevents us from recognizing this irony, and we miss the opportunity to ask the bigger question, “Why am I asking where God was when I don’t believe in His existence?” “Is it that I do believe?” Should I peel a layer from my disbelief and see what might be under it? That must be a frigtening prospect.
These are weighty issues and the times provide us with little that we can be sure of.
Some comments that I have received suggest that God should have intervened in some way. Caused the gun to jam or have a car hit the gun man. Whatever, we call it, those sentiments are asking for God to deny free will.
An omniscient God would have seen that the tragedy did not just “happen” on the day of the incident. It also involved others. His mother was killed. His mother stocked the arsenal that he used. God would have had to intervene back wherever this process started and frustrate the choices of all who were involved.
We have to own up to responsibility that we have choice and that we must make wise ones. We must also recognize that unwise choices made by others in the past, present and future are going to impact our lives and the lives of the “innocent”.
Attachment to things temporal and the thought that we have anything “by right” is the root of much human suffering and frustration.
“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” 1 Cor 15:19