An Honest Question

September 11, 2020

‘How long will You hide Your face from me?’ Psalm 13:1 NIV

When Kelly James and two climbing buddies died on Oregon’s Mount Hood in the USA, his brother Frank, a professor of theology, admitted: ‘It’s one thing to talk about death in the abstract. It’s another to cope with the death of someone you love… Death is ugly. We can’t—and shouldn’t—try to make it palatable with pious platitudes… One question haunts me, “Where was God when Kelly was freezing to death?” For me not to ask would be a failure to take God seriously… I’m not suggesting mere mortals stand in judgment of God… God doesn’t report to me. But an honest question from a broken heart is a good and righteous thing.’

David wasn’t afraid to ask God, ‘How long will You hide Your face?’ Then a few verses later the same distressed David declares, ‘But I trust in Your unfailing love.’ (Psalm 13:5 NIV)

Frank James continues: ‘Amid all the spiritual consternation God manifested Himself in my grief. Somehow He’s found in the disappointment, confusion, and raw emotions. This doesn’t exactly make sense to me, and I don’t like it. But my concept of faith has become Abrahamic… I must trust God even when I don’t understand… as Christians have confessed for centuries, “We look for the resurrection of the dead” (see 1 Corinthians 15:42)… Amid enough tears to fill an ocean… we’ve had to bury loved ones. But we bury them with this promise, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22 NIV) It doesn’t indemnify us against grief… It does, however, take faith to depths where hope begins to poke through the heartache, like a sunbeam piercing a cloudy sky.’

SoulFood: Eze 27:25–30:26, Luke 21:12–24, Ps 78:32–39, Pro 20:20–21

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2020

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