Tonight my heart is so heavy. I started to write a post earlier about something totally different and was interrupted by tornado sirens. By God’s grace, no homes in my neighborhood were destroyed, but I cannot say the same about so many other homes in the state of Arkansas tonight- particularly Mayflower. Seeing the pictures of the devastation literally miles from home is nothing less than heartbreaking. It’s times like these people get angry at God and ask Him why in the world He would let something like this happen. Either that, or people say “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle,” which is also really frustrating because you feel like there’s something wrong with you for not being about to handle it. The truth is, God never says He won’t give us more than we can handle. In fact, He promises us trials. He says we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear, but it never once says God will not put us in a situation that we cannot get through. God lets these things happen to show us how much we need him. We can’t handle this… so many families tonight are experiencing so much heartache and they cannot handle that. What’s so incredibly comforting is that God can, so we don’t have to. He doesn’t promise us an easy life, He promises us a hard one. We just get to choose to bear it alone or give it to Jesus.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
We will have trouble, but we may have peace. I just love how that is worded… trouble is promised but peace is a choice. God gives us the freewill to choose to let Him take our burdens from us. He’s holding out his hand, patiently waiting for us to take it, but we get to choose to give Him ours. That’s just another beautiful thing about Christianity- God chose us when He sent His son to die for us, and we get to choose Him when we surrender our lives to Him.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
The whole “why did God let this happen” question I’m sure is in the back of everyone’s mind tonight. That answer is impossible for us to know, because we will never understand the mind of God. We just have to remember God loves us and He doesn’t want us to to experience heartache and pain… this wasn’t the world He intended for us. But we are all living in this world now, a world where the devil is everywhere and evil is in the hearts of so many; so things like this will happen, and they will become more and more frequent. Trying to answer the “whys” and “why nots” is something that people have gone on and on about for centuries and ultimately come up with the same answer: We don’t know, and we won’t know. We just have to trust that God knows what He is doing and run to Him instead of running away from Him. He is our “refuge and strength in times of trouble.”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
I know thanking God is probably the farthest thing from a lot of our minds here in Arkansas tonight, but the fact is if you’re reading this, you’re alive. If you can give thanks for nothing else, thank God for the breath in your lungs. God wants us to talk to Him. He’s not some far off being that is just watching us all run around like idiots searching for hope and not finding it. He is the hope that is here, readily available for us at any moment. Praying is such a crazy blessing we take advantage of so often. They couldn’t just pray before the veil was torn when Jesus rose again, they had to go through a priest and sacrifice animals… there was literally a veil between God and man. We are extremely fortunate and undeserving to be able to, at any moment, tell Jesus that we love Him or ask HIm to keep us safe on a roller coaster. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t talk to Jesus all the time. Another crazy amazing thing about the Lord is He always answers our prayers, no matter what. He may not answer us with the answer we desire, but His ways are higher than ours and He will always ultimately do what is best for us. So pray for the people affected by these storms. Pray without ceasing! And lift your eyes to the Maker of the heavens and the earth. Thank God that this world is not your home. I love you guys, and I’m praying for all of you affected by this tornado.
“Wait for the Lord; Be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord.” Psalm 26:14