You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
Since Tom wrote the prayer I posted last week there have been several more terrorist atrocities reported, and possibly others that have not made the news media frenzy. Are we becoming desensitised to these attacks?
When more innocent lives are lost like this we often hear the cry “Where is God in all this? Why does He allow such things to happen? ” Indeed some people point to attacks like these as proof that there is no God and ask why we believe in such out dated mumbo-jumbo. “If he is such a great God he could stop all this if he wanted to, but he doesn’t” they cry. Now, whilst we know that God is not some fancy Disney style wizard who will wave his magic wand for everything to turn out OK, sometimes when things get really dark we may be tempted to see their point and ask why God allows these things to happen. In the Garden of Gethsemane even Jesus cried out “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46
In her book Footprints Margaret Fishback Powers writes: When we find ourselves questioning God’s reason for allowing certain things to happen, we must stop and remember God’s faithfulness and depend on his grace. Whatever our questions, whatever our circumstances, God is still in control. She quotes Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We cannot know what God’s plans are but we do know that those plans do not include the murder of innocent men and women, the incitement to racial hatred, the unrelenting pursuit of power and wealth. These are man’s plans.
So, the question we should be asking is not “Where is God in all this?” but rather “Where is man in all this?” and it is not hard to find man’s grubby fingerprints all over the picture. Now, God gave us free will, a choice; the choice to be the richest, most powerful man in the graveyard or maybe not so materially well off but having the promise of a life of eternal bliss.
God has not forsaken us He is there and has a plan for us; He is in control. But it is for us to make the choice; continue in our selfish ways – man’s plans - or turn to Him and follow the path laid down in the New Testament. When we do turn to Him He will be there to meet us for we are His beloved children for whom His love is unconditional.
Loving Father, when your son Jesus was faced with the hatred intolerance and injustice of this world His answer was to offer love, compassion and justice. Lord, we pray for the grace to follow His example that the world may live in peace in accordance with your Divine commands. Amen
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time work for a number of years