When asked about my thoughts on these questions my first response was: I think all of heaven wept on Friday morning—this is not the way God intends for us to live. The Bible says our God is One who sees and feels the agony of His people--I think God wept alongside grieving families; His heart was broken.
'Where is God'? The Bible, the pages of history and the pages of my own story reveal to me a God who stands with us in the chaos; who walks with us through darkness and sorrow; a God who promises, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) When all is dark, God is still at work.
A grief-stricken father and his little girl stood at the grave side of the wife and mother. A kind friend said to the sorrowing husband, you and your daughter come home with us for a few nights. No he said, we will go home and trust God's grace to sustain us.
That night the little girl found it hard to sleep, so her bed was moved alongside her father's bed. In the darkness she would say, daddy, it's so dark, but you are there, aren't you, daddy?
The father placed his hand on her head and said, yes, daddy is right here. Now go to sleep. Before long the little girl fell soundly asleep. Then, in the darkness and sorrow of his heart the father weeping said, Heavenly Father, it is so dark, and my heart is overwhelmed with sorrow, but you are there, aren't you, Father?
The sure promise came instantly to his mind...do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
Even when we can't see, even when we can't make sense out of it, God in His infinite wisdom and His outrageous compassion is at work in the dark.
Christian Reger spent four years in the infamous concentration camp at Dachau, where he was imprisoned by the Nazis wrote these words…"Nietzche said that a man can undergo torture if he knows the why of his life. But here at Dachau, I've learned something far greater. I've learned to know the who of my life. He was enough to sustain me then and He is enough to sustain me still."
In the midst of such an unthinkable tragedy, we need to remind ourselves, God has not abandoned those who are so deeply wounded. He has not and will not forget. He is the One who walks with us – even when the path is dark. And we need to remind ourselves the devastation and loss experienced last Friday morning does not get the last word; death and the grave does not get the last word; God has the last word! The last word is always one of hope!
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:19)
To the moms and dads and brothers and sisters and family and friends who are struggling to make sense of that which is senseless; who are clinging to whatever faith they have left, may our God, help them to see beyond the darkness, may they see His hand of mercy and grace and healing.
Father, renew their strength and whisper words of life and hope to the broken-hearted.