I think we share experiences and questions as a community. Perhaps we’ve been affected in the same way by news of war and terrorism. It’s possible we share the same friend struggling with a sudden diagnosis or long-term illness. It’s probable that some of us have children in the same classroom who cry because they feel bullied or alone. Maybe we have visited the same village where access to clean water could save lives every single day.
Does it feel like struggle, fear, pain, inequities and tragedies are all around you (us)? As a pastor, one of the questions I’ve heard lately in response to these experiences is, “Where is (your) God?” The Bible reminds me that when we cry out with difficult questions, God reminds us exactly where He is.
He is in the voice of those who speak up for the oppressed and the terrorized. He is in the heart of those who pray for the freedom and safety of all people. He is in the embrace of a friend who listens, cries and holds on when illness strikes. He is heard in the encouraging words of a stranger when discouraging words have become the norm. He is in the intentions of a small child who gives her last two nickels to help provide clean water for a child far away.
I believe that God is capable of affecting any situation for good. But the Bible also tells us that we are called to help and to be His light in the world. This is a gift —expressing, uncovering and shining the light of God that resides in us.
When we pray, sometimes God does “appear” in a way that can only be explained as divine intervention. Other questions of God’s whereabouts seem to be answered by the divine choosing to work through us. There is miraculous potential given to each of us, but I think we often forget to be a miracle and shine His light. None of us are perfect, pure or without our own selfish desires, but all of us have the capacity to be a miracle in the world.
By itself, this short article can’t heal, fix, mend or bring peace to anything. But I believe the light of God that dwells in you can heal, fix, mend and bring about peace. So let’s keep sharing experiences and asking questions together.
“Where are You Lord? Where will You send me? In Your mercy, hear our prayer…”
Information provided by Ankeny First United Methodist Church Uptown, Christian Life Center and Faith Chapel 3 Sites – 1 church, www.ankenyfumc.org, John Wagner Associate Pastor, Christian Life Center Ankeny First United Methodist Church.