I’ve been battling over our new building project for weeks. It came to the point of yelling the other day, not at anyone here, but at God. There are three major struggles, all contingent upon each other. The civil drawings need to be completed before we can receive a permit from the city. The civil drawings need an accurate proposal from the dirt and utility subcontractors. We need good proposals in order to submit a contract to the bank to get funds released.
I felt the weight of each of you who have sacrificed and given so much to Cornerstone for Generations and are anxiously waiting for things to begin. Some of my decisions have cost us valuable time and only exacerbated my battle. It might be over a year since the project started before any dirt is moved. That’s a long time, and waiting can be miserable. When you know others are counting on you, it’s worse. It made me scream.
Then, this morning I saw the news of another school shooting. Students and families excited about the end of another school year are now screaming, devastated by an unthinkable loss. My stress and concern over a few weeks’ delays are insignificant compared to the reality of real pain and evil in our world.
A Christian philosopher once addressed an overflow crowd at an Ivy League university about whether it makes sense to believe in God. After the speech, a young student stood up and demanded to know how anyone can believe in God after Auschwitz. “How can a good and powerful God allow such horrors? There is no God!” As followers of Jesus, we assert emphatically that there is. We claim to know God and have an intimate relationship with Him. But there are good questions, asked by all who suffer. “Why?” “Is God really with us?”
This was the question Gideon asked the angel. “The angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon and said to him, ‘The LORD is with you, you mighty warrior.’ Gideon answered him, ‘But sir if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us?’” (Judges 6:12-13)
There are times when I absolutely feel this way, and begin to speak out at God, even scream. But each time I do I am affirming my belief in Him. That’s who I am screaming at. If I didn’t believe He was there, there would be no need to question and no need to yell. In fact, Jesus screamed in pain, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
In times of pain, we are in good company. I will pray for you, and for those screaming in Texas. I trust you will pray for me. For where else will we turn but to a God who truly knows our pain?