God grieves

When we look at the recent killings in the United States, we may be tempted to accuse God of indifference.

We may ask: “Why didn’t God stop the shooting of innocent black men?  Why didn’t he prevent the murder of police officers?”

Or, in our personal lives, we may wonder if God cares that we are sick or jobless or heart-broken.

The Bible makes clear that God is not a distant, cold-blooded robot.  He feels.  He loves. He weeps.  He grieves.

The Bible says that Jesus is the image of the Father.  Jesus wept at the tomb of his friend Lazarus.  His heart filled with compassion when he saw the sick and needy flocking to him. He was angry with self-righteous, heartless, religious leaders.

While accepting that God has feelings, some may wonder what is stopping him from intervening directly to deal with their needs.

It is hard for a friend of mine to understand why God hasn’t healed him from a mysterious illness that has plagued him with pain throughout his body for eight years.  He has prayed for healing and healing hasn’t come.

I confess I don’t have answers.

God does heal.  The miracles we read about in the New Testament are repeated daily around the world today.

Why not heal my friend?

The only thought I have is that God’s ways are far higher than ours.  He knows things we don’t.

The story of the crucifixion is one example.

Jesus’ friends were appalled when the Messiah was seized and executed – the Messiah they expected to establish an earthly kingdom.  Jesus knew what was coming and embraced it because, through it, God would pour out his love on billions of people, ushering them into his heavenly family.

I am not saying that my friend’s illness is identical to the crucifixion.  God wants to heal – and sometimes healing takes much longer than we expect or hope.

But we live in a fallen, pain-filled world – a world brought about by our own human actions dating back to the beginning of time.  Jesus promised his followers that they would face trouble.

But throughout life’s problems, I am called as a believer to trust that God has a plan and is working things out for my good.

It may be that I won’t know why things happened the way they did in my life until I am with God in heaven.  Then I will see things through a very different lens.

And I will know without a doubt that he suffered with me.  Just as he grieves with those who lost loved ones in last week’s killings.

Yes, and I will know, as the children’s song goes: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

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2 comments so far

  1. Judy on

    EXCELLENT COLUMN, BOB. THANK YOU.

  2. Robert Douglas on

    Thank you, Judy.


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