Where is God?
By Jimmy Cochran
A small child is dragged into a lake by an alligator right in front of his parents. He did not survive. Where was God?
One hundred people were killed or seriously injured in a shooting spree in Orlando and hundreds more are grieving and affected by this despicable act of hate and terror. Where was God?
A man walks into a school, shoots, and kills random students and teachers. Countless others were injured, either physically or emotionally. Where was God?
A person goes into a crowded movie theater and opens fire on the crowd with death and destruction left in his path. There was no apparent rhyme or reason for his actions. Where was God?
People hate the President. People hate the potential Presidential candidates. People hate the government. People hate their neighbors. Where is God?
I honestly wish that I could answer these questions with an explanation that would ease your mind and give you peace. But, I struggle with the same questions myself. I wish I could give you advice on how to survive this world filled with hate and anger. But, I don’t have an easy answer and I get angry and scared, too. All I can do is tell you what I try to do to make it through life … one day at a time.
The answer, as difficult as it may be to believe or understand, is that God is where He has always been. Watching over us and wanting us to trust Him for our eternal future. We can make the choice to pray for His intercession and His help, but many times, those prayers seem lost at the ceiling of our houses because we don’t see any change.
God is in control. He allows bad things to happen to us, not because He doesn’t care, but because He gave us free will in our lives. We are free to make our own choices; good or bad, and how they affect other people. You all know the story of Joseph; sold into slavery by his brothers, his father being told Joseph was killed by wild animals, yet, he rose to a position in Egypt second only to the Pharaoh. When a famine hit the land and his family came to Egypt to beg for grain and food, Joseph had the choice to repay their evilness with evilness, yet he didn’t. Choices, choices, choices. God let the choices be made and a happy reunion was held. God didn’t make the brothers sell Joseph, God didn’t make them lie to their father, and God didn’t make Joseph be forgiving. It was all a part of the free will of the people involved. And God saw the bad turn into the good.
God knew that many people would die and be injured in the many school shootings in recent months. He was there, and I’m sure he was weeping. Again, choices were made in those school, between the shooter, the teachers, and administration. We are all His children and He loves us all. When we hurt, He hurts. But, we still make the choices. God could intervene and keep our world happy and safe, but then our freedom is gone, and we are merely puppets and have no opportunity to learn of the Love that only God can give.
So, then, does God hear us when we pray? And why does He still let good people die with diseases and car wrecks and in criminal acts? He hears our prayers, each and every one, but sometimes it just isn’t in His plan to intervene the way we want. God’s plan demands that sometimes He just has to answer with a “no” or a “not now.” We should keep praying and trusting that God does love us and has our best future at heart. God loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, and our belief in Him is what gives us the eternal hope that gets us through the tough, scary days.
And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.
Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, a musician, a minister and the author of Being God’s and Staying God’s, both available at Amazon.com. Being God’s is also available at Moye’s Pharmacy in McDonough.