This world has much darkness in it. You need only pick up a newspaper or flick on a news channel to know that. It can be pretty depressing keeping up to date with what is happening around us. So do we keep up to date and fall into hopelessness and depression, or do we look the other way in an attempt to hold on to our sanity? It can be tricky.
In light of the recent tornado that brought much heartache and destruction to Moore, Oklahoma, I was again confronted with a question that is often asked following great tragedy: If God is such a good God (or if there is a God) how could he do this (or let this happen)?
The way I understand this question is thatthe person is basically saying that it is God's fault that the tragedy happened; that if he is such a good God, that nothing bad should ever happen to anyone. Accidents shouldn't happen, no one should die, nobody should get sick, nothing should get stolen or lost, natural disasters shouldn't occur, parents shouldn't get divorced, hearts shouldn't be broken, etc. Everyone should be rich, healthy, happy and live forever. But then you would be describing heaven, and this is not it.
Eden is the place where Eve ate the apple that God precisely said not to, and even shared her transgression with Adam who, without any hesitation, happily joined in. Little did they realize how that one bite would end paradise. Since then this world is Earth, not Eden.
The next thing that people say - and even I have been saying it for years - is "everything happens for a reason". Try telling this to a mother who has just lost her child, or a wife who has just lost her husband (or vice versa). Tell that to the victim of a hurricane, standing bloodied, staring blankly at what used to be his home, wondering if the rest of his family made it, or the survivor of a drunken driving accident, or the mother who has just lost her baby. The list of tragedies is never ending. Then hear their reply: What reason could possibly be good enough that my child would die and not yours, or that I would lose my family while you get to keep yours?...
As I was thinking about it today it dawned on me.
God is light. 1 John 1:5 says God is Light; and there is no darkness in Him at all [no, not in any way]. You see, God doesn't have to create darkness in this world so that he can swoop in and be the hero; be the light. He doesn't go around thinking, "I want to teach Joe Blow a lesson; I think I'll demolish his house in a tornado; maybe his losing his family will seal the deal." No, God doesn't have premeditated reasons - a tragic agenda - that some or other calamity need to satisfy.
No, this world has enough darkness in it as it is - without God's help.
But something that can use his help - one thing that God's good at - is finding the good in anything. He does not let anything go to waste! Yes, this world has plenty of suffering, but God can make sure to not let it be in vain. Not one moment of your suffering has to be without purpose. Tragedy does not come with a rewind button, but neither does your tragedy have to destroy you. He will squeeze every drop of good out of any bad situation; he will bring light in the darkness; he will BE light in your darkness!
God is light; and there is no darkness in Him at all [no, not in any way]. Wherever he finds darkness - wherever he gets invited and involved - he can and he will bring light!
God doesn't have to create darkness so he has something to turn to light. He is well able to work everything that happens together for good toward his greater purpose with our lives (Romans 8:28). Of that we can be sure of!
No, your disaster is not God-sent, but it can most certainly be God-USED! He wants to be light in your life.