Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good,
a stronghold on a day of trouble;
he protects those who take refuge in him,
even in a rushing flood.
If God is all-powerful, and if God is good, then why did God let this happen?
The sentence above appears in the midst of a vivid description of the power of the LORD to afflict those who plot evil against the LORD and those who counsel wickedness. Letting the reader know they would not be spared from floods, earthquakes, droughts, or storms, but that God would see them through the day of trouble.
I hear the question of why would a benevolent God allow malevolence frequently following natural or human disasters, both epic disasters like the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico and personal disasters like the death of a child.
Why is perhaps the wrong question, for neither we nor God can change the past. A better question is to ask: What are we to do about this? And best to ask: Where is God in this?
The rescue of the Chilean miners demonstrated how diverse people can come together and achieve a miracle. Recent suicides of children have prompted schools to address the problem of bullying.
As much as we might wish for God to eliminate these disasters before they happen, God uses them to give us opportunities to minister with one another, opportunities to prevent future disasters, and opportunities to change the world for the better.
What opportunities has God given to you this week?
Luke 10:23 Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!
The essence of spirituality is seeing what those without faith do not see. The essence of spirituality is looking for the hand of God in every event. The essence of spirituality is recognizing that God is with us in every moment: when enjoying the beauty of nature, when alone and suffering, and when sharing the company of good friends.
In today’s passage the disciples return to Jesus and report demons submitting to them in Jesus’ name. Jesus cautions them not to rejoice for these miracles but for having been claimed by God.
When spiritual people are praised for an accomplishment, they point beyond themselves to God working through them.
May you have eyes to see God working through you this day.
Luke 9:3 He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money – not even an extra tunic.
Today’s Bible readings include two episodes of courage: Jesus sending the disciples out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal, and the last leg of Paul’s journey at sea. Both passages tell the faithful to set aside the usual material items needed for difficult journey and Fully Rely On God.
Fully Relying On God does not mean God will pull you out of difficult situations, but that you will receive whatever God needs for ministry where you are standing.
When I was in a collision at sea, at periscope depth, I did not expect God to pluck our submarine out of the ocean, but Fully Relying On God, I could focus on doing my small task.
Fully Relying On God provides the assurance to live fearlessly and that God’s mission will succeed.
Psalm 1:3 They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Life is tough.
There is a patch of grass in front of our house that turned brown this summer. The rest of the lawn did fine. The entire lawn suffered brutal heat and weeks without rain. But the rest of the lawn benefited from a little extra water from the downspouts.
Jesus warned that God “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” But here the Psalmist reminds us that the faithful can see beyond the drought and through the storms to God’s faithful promise of his Kingdom on Earth as it is in heaven.
And thanks to a few wet days, that patch of grass near street is turning green again.