The earth is full of beauty. Thousands of people simultaneously gasp while a scarlet ball of fire sinks below the horizon, casting purple, orange, and pink across the sky – while one little girl catches a glimpse of the bluest of blue, astonished at the discovery of six eggs cradled in a neatly built nest of mud and grass.
The earth has the ability to take our breath away.
But the earth is also full of misery – whether thousands watch as wildfires destroy a lifetime of memories or one watches at the bedside as cancer slowly takes their dying loved one.
The heavens echo with anger and pain being sent from earth to God – why? Why?
And the heavens return silence. But does it?
This morning, I watched the smiling, grateful faces responding to the relief of rain that fell upon a portion of the ashen western states.
We don’t understand everything in life. How is it that the cold nights and dewy mornings are sufficient for life in the desert? How is it that two parts from two bodies meet and form human life? Every day we accept what we do not fully understand. Yet, when tragedy strikes we shake our fist at God. Can you imagine how many fists are raised to the heavens every day?
And like a loving, earthly father feels compassion for his crying child, God feels compassion for us. The child may not understand, may not receive what he wants – yet the father wipes away the tears and comforts.
What are you going through? After you shake your fist or cry, will you see and be thankful for the relief that God brings in the midst of your sadness and loss?
He was here for 70 years.
Things started to taste strange. Then he started losing weight.
Then he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
He lived 8 months after that.
Black and white pictures of another time, another place – his life ahead of him. He took his place and offered his uniqueness. There was no one quite like him.
And now he’s gone.
Yet, sorrow mingles with the joy of seeing him again in eternity.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11
I cannot speak to all forms of pain. And I won’t tell you that pain is pain.
There are families sifting through the debris of leveled towns from tornado destruction. For every wonderful story of a loved one spared, there is a sad story of a loved one’s death. A woman with breast cancer has only days to live while another celebrates her news of being cancer free. A fatal car accident takes a life and another just missed an accident by seconds.
The stories go on and on.
Unexpected, unintended, unexplained.
Despite the interruption of a storm, an enduring strength for survival ensues.
God knew what we would need to survive.
Ice crystals from the snow left tell-tale scars on the hope of spring.
Having some scars is okay. You will make it.
The world is a big place with scary problems. Cancer, terrorism, war, crime, the future – all cause anxiety. There is torment with anxiety. Our minds are not at peace since we may worry, obsess, or fear. They all equal pain.
Did you know God promises peace? No matter how horrible the situation is, you can have peace. In fact, perfect peace.
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
So, keeping your mind on the Lord and trusting him will give you peace. That’s because you have to take the anxiety and place it in his hands. Surround yourself with people who have hope. Distance yourself from negativity. Meditate on the scripture and find out what God is like. Reading a psalm each day connects you with the heart cry of the psalmist’s distress … and what the psalmist concludes at the end!
God sees everything. He cares for you.