by Beverly Brown, Set Me Free Ministries Prayer Coordinator
There seems to be so much bad news in the world today. You can't listen to the news or pick up a newspaper without hearing about a tragic event that took place. Death and destruction feel like they're all around us. I live in Nebraska, and just this past week we have seen storms that have uprooted many from the security they had in their close-knit communities. We have heard about the death of a mother, very possibly at the hands of one of her own sons, while her two other sons were literally disposed of by their own brother, one in a garbage dumpster and the other tossed into a river. Last night I read the local section of our paper and saw a report of a young mother on meth whose 8-month-old baby was discovered face down on a blanket surrounded by vomit and roach eggs on her precious little feet.
I suspect that you are much like me when you hear such stories. My mind reels with questions, and my heart stabs at me with pain. How could such a thing happen? Why did God not stop it? Why do the most innocent among us have to suffer?
You may be familiar with the story of Corrie Ten Boom. During World War II, she and her entire family were imprisoned in German concentration camps for their part in helping Jews escape Hitler's death camps. She saw firsthand the face of evil every day, and yet she was able to turn to God when things became unbearable apart from Him. She once said, “You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.”
In scripture, we read about another man who learned that same lesson. Job lost nearly everything that was precious to him in just one day. His livelihood and even his children were taken from him. It was almost too much to comprehend. He asked many questions of God and even wondered why he had ever been born. But despite all of his problems, Job was able to say, "For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold and not another. How my heart yearns within me!"
Even Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, in the book of Ecclesiastes, pondered the hardships of life. In Ecclesiastes 12:8, he pens, "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." A few verses later, Solomon sums up his book with great wisdom with these words, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: 'Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all.'"
I don't have all of the answers to life's perplexities, but there is one thing that I do have–I have a God who does. When my thoughts swirl around in my mind like a tornado cloud, I go to the only One I know who does have the answers–God–just like Corrie Ten Boom and Job and Solomon did before me.
Before you pick up tomorrow's newspaper or turn on the news and hear of the next tragic event, please read this from the apostle Paul. He knew what it was to suffer and yet he exhorts us 2 Corinthians 4:16-18: "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."