Stuff Happens (November 1, 2012)

…Opening To…

Sometimes the Lord rides out the storm with us and other times He calms the restless sea around us. Most of all, He calms the storm inside us in our deepest inner soul. (Lloyd John Ogilvie)

…Listening In…

It was now about noon, and darkness covered the whole earth until about three o’clock, while the sun stopped shining. Then the curtain in the sanctuary tore down the middle. Crying out in a loud voice, Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I entrust my life.” After he said this, he breathed for the last time. (Luke 23:44-46; context)

…Filling Up…

If God is always with us and wants what’s best for us, why do storms happen at all? Why isn’t everything just good all the time?

There is no easy answer to these questions, and my self-imposed word count won’t even scratch the surface, so rather than trying to answer them, I think I’ll just examine the premises behind them for today.

Storms happen. Bad stuff happens. We all know that this is a fact of life. This fact leads us to a choice. We can deny God’s existence, which would mean that there’s no problem with bad stuff happening because there would be no God to prevent it. Or we can affirm God’s existence – and affirm God’s utter goodness – and this leads to the question we are wrestling with.

Let’s choose the second option. God exists and God is good. But bad stuff happens. This leads us to another choice. Either God allows the bad stuff to happen, which seems to deny God’s goodness. Or God has no control over the bad stuff happening, which seems to deny God’s omnipotence.

You can see how this is very tricky.

Or perhaps there’s a third option, which is the one that I would argue the experience of Jesus Christ shows to be true. Bad stuff happens. But God is there. Good stuff happens. But God is there. Stuff happens. But God is there. In Jesus’ death on the cross, the worst of storms assailed him. In his resurrection, he showed us that not even the worst storm was a match for God’s presence. God does not cause the storm, but God does cause us to be able to weather it.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you sustain me both through my storms and my sunny days. Help me to put my trust in you, so that I may know that through your strength I won’t drown, no matter how high the waves. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, praying for the faith to sustain me through all of life’s storms.

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