I came bounding down the stairs on Sunday morning, patting myself on the back for being only five minutes late for our appointed time to leave for church. As my husband rounded the corner and met me at the bottom, I prepared myself for his sweet, but somewhat sarcastic, “Ready?”
Instead, the first word out of his mouth was, “Terrorists…”
While I listened to everything he said after, in my mind I saw a plane crashing into a tower. I thought of the girls in Iraq ripped from their families and placed in bondage. I remembered those in San Bernardino, my own backyard, gunned down in the seeming safety of a workplace holiday party.
It’s unfathomable really. Entirely sickening. That a living, breathing human being, could think themselves entitled to rob this world of the breath of another out of pure hate. Forty nine lives were stolen and countless others were altered because evil, in its highest form, gripped one man.
“This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.”
Ephesians 6:12 MSG
Is God still good? Someone somewhere, and likely more than one is asking that question right now. In the face of insurmountable loss and unexplainable grief, they are wondering how God could allow what they treasured to be ripped from their life.
A mother who received the worst wake up call of her life.
Parents who never had a chance to say, “I love you anyways.”
Family longing to know where and when and how.
People searching for answers and concluding that there are none that satisfy.
This situation, these circumstances are muddy and complicated. No one deserved this. No one earned it. No one asked for it. There are life choices we can’t understand mingled with choices to take life we can’t comprehend. There are actions before, during, and after that must be reconciled, must be weighed.
But in the midst of every unanswered question, there is one truth that rises: God is still good.
This fall, this loss and pain were never His purpose for us; they were never His plan. But evil enters in and distorts good. Knowledge is turned upside down and acted upon with power that was never intended to be wielded by man. Cowards rally with fear and intimidation and steal what isn’t theirs to take—precious life.
God is still good.
There is grief among His children, and so God is grieved too. We can’t begin to wrap our finite minds around the depth of His love for every single soul touched by tragedy. Evil at its worst is conquered by love at its finest. (Tweet that.)
God’s gracious, scandalous, more-than-we-deserve affection stretches beyond lifestyle choice, circumstance, and condition and reaches deeper than our flawed nature can even contend with. We are called to love because He loved.
God is still good.
And because of His overwhelming goodness, evil is addressed with authority and swift justice. The arrogance and pride that without remorse stole what is only God’s to take, will be called to court. Free will does not come without its consequences and every action is answered before an Almighty Judge. As sure as God is good, hell is real.
God is still good.
Even when we can’t understand; when we can’t begin to piece together the how and why, God is still good. He is still and forevermore the God who loved us so much that He laid down the life of the one most precious to Him so that His most precious would not perish.
Father, we join our heart with yours and ask for healing, for restoration, for reconciliation. Might Your love for us and our love for others shine light in the darkness. We wait on You and watch for goodness to rise from ashes, for glory to come from unimaginable grief, because You are always good.
You can also find these words linked up at my favorite spots: Holly Barrett (#testimonytuesday), Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory), Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), and Kristin Hill Taylor (#threewordwednesday).