Has Life Kicked You In The Gut?
In our modern tech age, natural disasters like the massive and frequent tornadoes that have swept through the South over the last year allow human beings the instant ability to connect as well as sympathize with the plight of the victims. I, for one, sadly sat in front of the TV watching the news footage of James and Judy Hodges, an older Alabama couple that had their home destroyed TWICE in less than 12 months by twisters – click here. A house where he was born and they were married.
When these devastating natural disasters occur (and those that befall our personal life through death, disease, disability) mental, emotional and physical fatigue can set in. Often, the inevitable questions also arise: Where was God? Why did God allow this to happen? As Mrs. Hodges said, “There’s always a plan. God sees the big picture. We don’t”
To follow up on her resolve, it’s vitally important to point out that the tornadoes of life come to us all, often times unexpected and they don’t discriminate on whether or not someone is a “good person” (Matthew 5:45). We live in a fallen world due to the decisions and choices of mankind that was given free will by God (Ecclesiastes 7:29). Sin therefore impacts everybody; evil, pain and suffering, whether inflicted from fellow man or nature is all part of the package. Be it a natural disaster such as that described above or a personal tornado like physical, marital or financial distress, unexpected loss of a loved one – the trials, tribulations and storms of life are coming to you if they haven’t already.
A biblical world view is so vital in carrying us ours trials and tribulations. Keep in mind, nobody worked harder, served more and led a sinless life like Jesus Christ. Yet he was pummeled, bloodied, beaten and died a horrific, suffering death at the age of 33. Further, 8 of his original 12 disciples died martyr deaths ranging from beatings to stonings to being hung on a cross upside down (Peter). So we need to understand that it’s not the quantity of years that’s important but the quality with which we live our lives in how we serve God and others whether from a hospital bed or a playing field.
The good news is that God has given us the ability through His Spirit to bear up and not only survive but thrive when the tornados of life come our way. I’ve been told and firmly believe that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you make of it. Toughness, resiliency and resolve are traits that develop under the toughest of circumstances (James 1:2-4). But we can only endure IF WE CALL ON HIM to give us the strength we need. God’s blessing is ALWAYS there waiting for us in the end (Romans 5:3-5) but many people don’t make it across the finish line because they’re not focused on the real prize (Philippians 3:14).
And finally, God allows disaster to come our way to draw us closer to Him. To this day, I’ve never seen a bigger crowd for a church service then I did at the Wednesday Night Service on September 12th, 2001. Cars lined up down the street further than any Christmas or Easter Service I’ve ever seen. Why? Because even in the midst of a tragedy like 9/11, God was moving and stirring in the hearts of people. So when tragedy comes next, we need to comfort, weep and wrap our arms around each other in sorrow. But we also need to step back, look up and say “OK God, strengthen me, help me to move forward as well as rebuild my life. May your glory shine through me and all the while help me to stay focused on you.”
April 30th Posted in: Christian Living with No Comments