September 15, 2023
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Well, Spring is tornado time, and there were some Mississippi folks at the conference we were at getting some pretty scary reports from back home. There were friends in a ministry organization we know of who were deeply wounded by the death of a coworker and daughters in Arkansas.
One of the daughters who survived that twister quoted the Book of Job, the biblical man who lost everything. Here's what she wrote: "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." Somehow, that girl's faith was sustaining her amid a horrific loss.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Where's God in the Tornadoes?"
There were some others during that outbreak who responded with tragedy's frequent heart cry. "Why, God?" We try to make sense of the shattered pieces of our life. We can't. We want answers from God. Sometimes "Why, God?" is a cry for help. But "Why, God?" might be the wrong question.
I think most of the "why's" are hard to see in the middle of the pain. We're looking at the dark thread that we're living right now. Meanwhile God's working on this much larger tapestry that my thread is a part of. And the thread often cannot make sense without the big tapestry, which we won't see for a while. Maybe not until God shows it to us Himself some day.
But there is a question I've resorted to in the dark valleys. A question that may have some answers - sooner rather than later. Here's the question: "How can God use this?" See, turning from God in our devastation erases any hope of the suffering having any meaning. That road takes us to dark places of bitterness and despair. Turning to God is the only road to hope when we have no answers.
I saw my parents heartbroken when my baby brother died. But I saw their lives totally transformed when their grief actually drove them to the God who had been a stranger to my parents before. It was a tragedy that seemed initially to have no "why." But it was a tragedy that God used to give me a new mom and dad.
See, I saw from a very early age, there was purpose in the pain. I know it's been grief and pain that have taught this spoiled only child right here the meaning of compassion. As it says in 2 Corinthians 1:4, "We comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." People who know what it is to be broken have the credentials to be healers in a hurting world. And, like my parents, our darkest hour may be when we find the Light as never before in the God who came from a perfect heaven to be broken by the people He had made. I can tell you this, He was and has been my anchor since the day my wife, the love of my life since I was nineteen, was suddenly gone. And I said later, "I will not waste this grief." And God has been the anchor through it all.
In our word for today from the Word of God, in God's own words in Isaiah 53:3-5, speaking of Jesus, it says, "He was crushed...He was pierced...a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering." Paying my bill with God. That's what Jesus was doing so I wouldn't have to pay it forever; choosing to die so I could live.
This is a God who's lived our grief, who carries us when we can't take another step. Who went through all of the pain, all of the hell that I deserve. All the payment of my sin, all of the guilt and shame for one simple purpose: so that I could be with Him forever and have the wall between me and God removed.
Could it be the storm you're in right now has been to bring you to the place where you would grab the long-extended hand of Jesus, who's offered it for so many years? And now you grab Him and make Him your Savior from your sin and you will never face a storm alone again.
If you want to get that done, would you go to our website? I think we could help you. It's ANewStory.com.
When our shattered soul reaches in desperation for this God who hung on a cross for us, we find what that old song describes - grace... amazing grace.