In the past 3 days or more, Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon have been experiencing torrential to heavy rains. No typhoons to blame this time, just monsoon rains. In times like these, people, sometimes will ask a very pressing question: “Where is your God now?”
I’d like to ponder on that question as well. I wanted to share to you where I think God is and what is He doing in times like these.
Is He punishing us right now? Ahh! A very popular mindset: that when mother nature goes awry, the first idea that comes to mind, is that, God is punishing us. Remember when Jesus and His disciples were in the boat and the weather went bad and the boat looks like it was going to sink?
Disciples: “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (see Mark 4:38, NIV)
Jesus: Got up and rebuked the wind turned to His disciples and said: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (see Mark 4:40)
Take a moment and feel Jesus’ reaction and ponder why He said those. What if I twist the story a little bit and do this:
Me: “Jesus, is God punishing us!?!?”
If Jesus was an MMA fighter then I could probably bet…okay I’m thinking too much, sorry. But I don’t think assuming God’s motives would please Him- at all! Specially if you are thinking of PUNISHMENT. If you still think that God is a cosmic disciplinarian waiting for His beloved creations to sin and then commands the heavens to strike with any calamity He chooses, then maybe you are stuck with a wrong notion of who God is.
Here’s what I think: I think that the last time God was pissed with Earth’s sin was in the old testament during the time of Noah (see Genesis 6:5-7). After that He relented- because God’s very nature is love and I believe it is because He saw Noah and his family’s righteousness. Because of the righteousness of one man’s family God extended the offer to anyone that whoever decided to jump in in Noah’s ark would be spared (you know how it went, no one did). Why do I say that it was the last? Because God said so:
The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. [Genesis 8:21, NIV]
Never again will our God punish us for our sins. Except. Except when the world’s due for judging already- and that itself is a whole new story. But as long as it isn’t “second coming”, life will go on for our planet.
If God is not punishing us, then where is He? He is sitting on His throne ruling over His creation! (see Psalm 47:8) He was sitting when the whole world was covered in water during Noah’s time, He was sitting when His Son, Jesus, was killed by humanity- and guess what? He is still there sitting on His throne having control over everything! Isn’t it relieving to hear that our God isn’t panicking in heaven? That He is seated firmly and authoritatively on His throne counting every tear (Psalm 56:8) ; every hair (Luke 12:7) and completely sympathizes with ALL our sufferings (Hebrews 4:15).
“But why do I feel like He isn’t acting?”
I think He is. Have you seen concerned people taking action everywhere right at this moment? To bring comfort, to encourage, to rescue and all other things He wanted His people to do to His people. What I learned is this: God uses people! He uses people who will allow themselves to be used by Him- to bring glory to His name! Yes, because a big straw coming from heaven siphoning the flood waters might cause more harm than good. But a concerned person bringing comfort to a flood victim and praying over them is one of the BEST picture a God like ours could paint. Because God isn’t moved so much with the need (this world has millions of needs!)- He is moved by our faith and willingness to be used for His glory.
I feel like assuming God’s intentions when things go wrong in our lives are both unfair and proud. Unfair because God offers us love, and comfort and here we are assuming that sufferings come from Him; proud – who are we to think that every phenomenon on Earth is God’s reactions towards our actions (i.e. punishment)- God is bigger than that- even bigger than our sins! He offers forgiveness and reconciliation through His Son Jesus and here we are pushing ourselves further away from Him. How grieved must our Father in heaven be.
However, answering the question of where God is with a matter-of-fact tone saying, “He’s just right where He is!” will be a bit insensitive. So here’s a picture I want us to paint in our minds when asked that question: God is seated on His throne commanding, us, His children to act with love, compassion and mercy towards others- rainy season, floods, or a sunny day. His love is everlasting, unchanging and unfailing.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 8:38-39, NLT]
Moved by God’s love? Act now! You can pray right where you are (if you cannot go out) or contact your nearest relief operations and offer your help, God might have been wanting to move in your place through you!
Check out Right Start’s and CCT’s relief operations here:
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