March 5, 2012

The Tears of God and the Need to Pray

We must pray for everyone affected by storms that hit the South and the Midwest and storms in recent weeks in Europe -- in these disasters death took whole families, children, parents, neighbors and friends.   We must pray for all those overwhelmed by such natural disasters.  We must also pray for the vulnerable all over the world, those who suffer in the grips of terror, especially those victims of heartless violence and hatred.   How many of those left behind in these devastating storms and how many survivors of the diabolical cruelty unleashed in the world today are questioning their faith or well be left questioning it for years to come?   For those who draw close to God, they share his tears and they know they must pray for their brothers and sisters whose hope is now so tested.

The Living God is not indifferent to our plight and as long as his children suffer, His Heart aches for them. He stands in solidarity with each of us in every situation.  In our hunger and thirst for justice and in our need for safety from danger and for comfort in sorrow - He stands firm in his devotion to us.  Though it is beyond our power to understand - his love and wisdom have not changed.  His glory is being revealed even if we cannot see it, even if it is disguised beyond recognition in the misery that engulf us.

God who has created us and saved us and who longs for each of us to thrive loves each one with a particular love: each one's personal plight is his plight too.  Every single life is treasured by Him and He longs to wipe away every tear.  He knows our suffering.  He hears our questions and He empathizes with our helplessness.  He mercifully waits for our humble trust - and those who cleave to Him in the midst of trial discover the reason for their hope.

Our Crucified God has implicated himself in our personal tragedies in such a way that He suffers with us out of love so that we never suffer alone.  It is in the mystery of the Cross that the victory of good over evil is found.  If we must walk the valley of death, His Love is stronger than death - no storm or disaster or oppression or persecution or sorrow or trial can overcome it. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ - He vindicates our faith even in times of overwhelming calamity and incomprehensible evil.  He is always the substance of our hope.

If He has bound himself to the suffering, by the love that binds us to Him we must draw near our neighbors who suffer as well - with our words, and actions, and our prayers.  This is what it means to be in his image and likeness.  It is in such moments of solidarity that our hope is tested - and our hope will not disappoint.

"I know my Vindicator lives and He shall rise up from the dust of the earth at last."  Job 19:25