Before we go any further today I would like to take some time to pray for the people/family/friends that were affected by the attacks in Paris last week.
Dear Father, Please be with everyone that was affected by the attacks in Paris this past week. I ask that you comfort them and make your loving presence undeniable to them. I also want to pray for the attackers and everyone involved in planning the terrorist plot. For in Matthew 5:44 you tell us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. We ask that you please forgive them and use this event to turn them to you Lord. We don’t understand all your ways, but please be with us as a country and as a world as we try to recover from these events. Amen.
I was horrified when I heard the news about the attacks in Paris this past weekend, as I’m sure you were too. I immediately began thinking, “how can someone be that evil, and why would God allow something like that to happen?”
Now, you can’t tell me God doesn’t listen to our very thoughts/prayers. Two days after that thought popped into my head I picked up the book I’m currently reading, “The Christian atheist” by Craig Groeschel and the next chapter was, “When you believe in God, but don’t think he is fair.” Ok God, you have my attention.
We have all gone through events and situations in our lives that have made us question God; is he really there or does he even care? Maybe it was losing a parent, losing a child, realizing you were going to be disabled the rest of your life, filing for bankruptcy, being laid off from work, etc… It’s hard to see/feel God in the stress, sadness, despair, and confusion, from those events but read what God said in Isaiah 49:13; God has comforted his people. He has tenderly nursed his beaten-up, beaten-down people. (MSG) God never said he would keep tragedy from happening to us, but he will always be there to tenderly nurse us back to health.
You might be thinking, “Well I’m a good person and do everything God asks of me, so I still don’t understand why I should have to suffer!” The problem with that line of thinking is that you aren’t a good person and I’m not either. In all actuality none of us are good because we are all sinners and disobey God on a regular basis. But do you know what the beautiful part in all of that is? God isn’t fair.
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
Thank God he is not fair! For the price of our sin is death, a death that our loving savior stepped in and took on our behalf!
The Diadem of pain
which sliced your face,
three spikes pericing flesh and wood
to hold you in your place.
The need for blood I understand.
Your sacrifice I embrace.
But the bitter sponge, the cutting spear,
the spit upon your face?
Did it have to be the Cross?
Did not a kinder death exist
than six hours hanging between life and death,
all spurred by a betrayer’s kiss?
“Oh father,” you pose,
heart-stilled at what could be,
“I’m sorry to ask, but I long to know,
did you do this for me?”
Dare we pray such a prayer? Dare we think such thoughts? Let’s unwrap these gifts of grace as if – or perhaps, indeed – for the first time. And as you touch them – as you feel the timber of the cross and trace the braid of the crown and finger the point of the spike – pause and listen. Perchance you will hear him whisper:
“I did it just for you”
– Max Lucado; “He Chose the Nails” –