the ebb and flow of God's grace
submitted by: slowfo
You're probably not as heartless as I can be at times. But I've caught myself over the past several weeks not paying much attention to that earthquake over in China. Ya know, the one that killed at least 55,000 and left 80,000 missing. I haven't read one full article about it. Honest. You've probably read all about it and already sent money over to help but I haven't yet. Maybe it's because it's a natural disaster and there's no one to blame.......or because it's just so far away. It is, however, a horror that has left lives and families in tatters.
To put it in perspective, let's imagine the worst - that all 80,000 missing are also dead. That would result in as many deaths as Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Or let's hit closer to home - that's the equivalent of the Twin Towers bombing occurring in over 38 United States cities all at the same time. Read that again. Thirty-eight Twin Tower bombings. Where was God's grace? Why didn't He rescue these people? Or did He act and keep it from being hundreds of thousands of deaths?
I felt the anger over the Twin Towers incident. I had someone(s) to blame. But I haven't been angry about the earthquake. Should I have been? As our insurance companies would classify it, an earthquake is an act of God. You mean like the Twin Towers was an act of Osama Bin Laden??
I've always grown up with a foundation of gratitude to God for all good things in my life and on earth. To this day, "Thank you" are the first words out of my mouth when I pray. But the tragedies on earth, whether personal or global, lead me to a question I wrestle with at times. If we give God thanks for the good things that happen, do we also blame Him for the bad?
Whoa, wait a minute! God didn't create this world to be bad like it is...man did that part. But, since sin entered the world, if God has occasionally intervened in order to avert disaster in the life of a person, city, country, etc., then there have also been many times when He has chosen not to intervened and has appeared to withhold his grace. And if He didn't act, then why not? It's not because He's too weak to act or is too busy. And in the same way, Jesus didn't heal every single illness or disease when He walked the earth. Of course, Jesus was gracious with His healing but confined somewhat by His humanity.
Grace means receiving the good things we don't deserve. Is God's grace ceaseless and never-ending? Is it as reliable as the rising of the sun each morning? In His mind, yes. I believe it is. In the minds of humanity, not so much.