And he could bear Israel's misery no longer. --Judges 10:15-16
God has a strong distaste for suffering. His tenderness is aroused by human anguish. But what all of those natural disasters? you wonder. If he's so touched by suffering, why does he allow events like that terrible tsunami that swept across the shores of Asia in 2004? The suffering and loss of life were beyond comprehension.
I can't begin to explain the unexplainable. But I know this: If Adam had never fallen, if the Creator could rewrite the story, he would have never allowed suffering out of the cage. "For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men" (Lamentations 3:33). But sin did leave the cage and, consequently, the curse fell. And ever since man's rebellion in the Garden of Eden, our world has groaned under wars, floods, earthquakes, disease, and much more. Like you, I shake my head at the mysterious plans and purposes of God. Tragedies like these either drive people away from God... or draw them to him. Calamities either harden people's hearts... or soften them as they run to the Lord for help and hope.
And beyond all else, I know this about my Father's heart: "God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him." And again, "God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son" (Romans 5:8, 8:32, The Message).
No one could ever accuse God of "sitting back and watching" while people suffer. How could anyone look at the cross and say anything like that?
Tragedies, great and small, happen every day in your community! How can you become God's hands and feet, his tender touch and his encouraging voice to those who suffer in your city-and in your world? Ask him to express his compassion toward hurting people through you.
Father, may I simply trust your heart, even today, when I can't trace your path.
Joni and Friends
Taken from Pearls of Great Price. Copyright © 2006 by Joni Eareckson Tada. Used by permission. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530
Thank you, Joni, for this blessing today!