Hope in the Midst of Chaos and Horror
by Beverly Brown, Set Me Free Ministries Prayer Coordinator
"A week of chaos, horror — and hope." That was the headline in an Associated Press news article that caught my attention a few moments ago. It has been a week of tragedy for our nation: the Boston bombings, the explosion in West, Texas, letters poisoned with ricin sent to a U.S. Senator and President Obama, and massive flooding in the Midwest. The article said that the odds of all of that happening in just a one-week span are 0.000004 or once in 4,808 years. Add to that the devastating earthquake in China a few days ago that killed and injured many, which wasn't discussed in the article, and it's even less likely. And one tweeter said this: "Boston. Poison. Explosions. Floods. Tomorrow, locusts." The latter, obviously a reference to the many plagues that God brought against the Egyptians in the Exodus story.
So how do you react when faced with such tragedy, whether national or personal? I think the answer to that lies in your worldview. If you believe that this life is all there is and once you die there is "nothingness," then you are going to have a much different reaction than those who believe in a God who sees our suffering and our fear and empathizes with us. Isaiah 53 puts it this way: "He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrow." And 1 Peter 5:7 reminds us that we can cast all of our cares on Jesus, because He cares for us.
In 1901, Rev. Frank Graeff penned the well known hymn, "Does Jesus Care?" It has brought comfort to untold numbers of men and women at their deepest point of pain. Graeff wrote this soon after going though a period of great despondency, doubt, and physical pain. He searched for comfort in God's Word, and when he read I Peter 5:7, he was comforted with the realization that God does truly care! I want to leave you with the hope that Graeff discovered over a century ago. Let it bring you that same hope.
Does Jesus Care
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.
Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?
Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?
Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?