Today as we add filters of the French flag to our Facebook profile pictures, we read with horror all of the emerging details of the horrific attacks in Paris yesterday. We struggle to make sense of it all, and as humans we sometimes begin to question where was God? How could he let this happen? The simplest answer to this question is we just don’t know.
This made me recall a poem written by Grandpa Eber that I included in a post called It Is Good – Eber’s Legacy back in August of 2014. As we continue to pray for the people of Paris and all of the families affected and in need of healing, take a moment to glean some comfort from the word of this dear departed gentleman in the following excerpt from that post :
It Is Good…..God Called It So
How could God be so remiss
To put us in a world like this?
This world is evil, of little worth,
We’ve heard this said about the earth.
Why put us in this evil place,
Did this show lack of grace?
This we endure, it is our curse,
We think that nothing could be worse.
Are His motives then suspect?
Such thoughts we quickly should reject
If we remember as we should.
He formed the world, then called it good.
Goodness we should contemplate,
It shows His care and love so great;
Sunrise and sunset, sky so bright,
He gives us light, for he is Light.
He gives us such joys to bless our days,
We should respond with love and praise;
Created things we now applaud
And worship the Creator God.
When time shall end, He’ll show us more,
Still greater things He holds in store;
Then we will finally understand
This is what he always planned.
How did Eber know the world would look so hopeless just three short years after his death? Christians are being exterminated in Iraq and other places, children are being gunned down in schools, women are being forced into sex trafficking, millions are being displaced or fleeing the violence in their homelands, and the threats of terror and violence are making people afraid to go about their daily lives. It is probably human nature to question the why of it all and want God to explain and answer why he would allow such atrocities to happen. We must put the blame for it all on SOMEONE.
It occurs to me that my generation is probably not the first generation to say the world has become a cold and hopeless place, how will humanity survive, what possible future can my child have in a world like this? We are seeing a lot of evil right now all around, but the generation before us dealt with the Cold War, Vietnam and segregation, and the one before that with World War II, and the one before that with the Great Depression, and the one before that with World War I, and the one before that with the Spanish-American War, and the one before that with the Reformation period and the one before that the Civil War — I could keep listing, going on and on, backward over the decades to list the tragedies and travesties that have been plaguing humanity since time began, not just here in the United States but across the globe.
These words of Eber’s followed by my thoughts from over a year ago strike me as being relevant today. May we continue to try to be people of peace and light in a world that is struggling and dark. As long as we have faith, hope, and love we can each in our own ways make this world a better place. Our God sits on the throne, and he will conquer all evil. The battles are being waged, but the war is already won.
Dear brothers and sisters in Paris, may the God of Light fill you with comfort and wrap each of you in his loving arms. In the days and weeks to come may you begin to feel his healing balm in your lives. As the apostle Paul said in Ephesians, Stand firm! We must stand firm in our faith and stand firm in the promises of God. Horrible things happen at the hands of other men, but God is the great Physician. Turn to him, let his healing begin to wash over the streets of Paris tonight.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and you healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. – Isaiah 58:8 (NSRV)