CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
God in the Hard Times
By Rebekah Largent
Sometimes it's hard to believe that God has our best in mind.
In June 2012, my husband, one-year-old daughter, and I lost our home in the Waldo Canyon Fire that raged in western Colorado Springs, Colorado. Even though we were evacuated in time to be safe from the blaze, it was still a very difficult time in our lives. The flames consumed many special items we'll never be able to replace, such as my wedding dress and my grandmother's china. We were forced to start over from scratch with barely anything to call our own. We had to find a new place to live, buy new clothes and new furniture, and say goodbye to a wonderful home. We are also still dealing with the sudden change in our lives and the heavy feelings of loss.
When tragedies like these happen, we often wonder where God is. Why would a loving God allow things like this to happen? He has the power to shield us from sorrow such as this—so why doesn't He?
The answers to these questions aren't easy for us as humans. Our minds don't work the same way God's does (Isaiah 55:9b). He is sovereign, which means He is all-powerful and knows how each event in all of creation will play out. In other words, God knows the plan. He made the plan. And He can use everything that happens to glorify Himself and to work in our lives so we can know Him better.
God loves us for He is love (1 John 4:8b). And contrary to what many think, God didn't create the evil that so often disrupts our lives. Evil is essentially the absence of God—Adam and Eve chose to sin against God at the beginning of our world, and He couldn't be a part of that. And we still sin today. God is entirely holy, and sin not only separates us from Him—it is separate from Him.
When sin entered the world, so did evil. It's the consequence we must endure for removing ourselves from God's constant presence. We allowed Satan, God's greatest enemy, to wreak havoc and cause mayhem, suffering, and sadness. But—praise God—God is so much stronger than Satan and evil. He isn't going to remove evil from the world because we chose (and continue to choose) to let it in. But He can and does use bad circumstances for His and our good. I've seen it before, and I see it now.
Despite the difficulty of losing our home and everything in it, God's work has been evident throughout this hardship. Many people gathered around us and offered their support, sending us gifts and cards to help lift our spirits. There were many generous donations of food, clothes, and toys. We've seen God's love for us in both tangible and intangible ways. We've been blessed by His peace and strength. Others have been touched when they see how well God has taken care of us. And both my husband and I have learned even more that God truly is good, all the time.
Image Credit: Travis Swan; "Waldo Canyon fire aftermath"; Creative Commons
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