If you read my post about Haiti, you know I was struggling with the way God lays out His plans and promises in everyday life.
Since Haiti I spent a week in Brazil and two weeks in Liberia. Both trips were beautifully refreshing: to see locals loving hurting children so well, to see kids with incredible dreams working to achieve them in the face of so much corruption, to see God's provision.
The first day in Liberia we had the opportunity to talk to two different families and steal a glimpse into their lives. Within 5 minutes both families, unprompted, shared how God provides for them, one even saying, "God provides for the ants each day and He provides for me."
(A new take on Matthew 6:26, exactly the passage I'd been struggling with. What up God.)
Then Sunday at church the pastor was talking about suffering* in life and he used an example of the Haitian earthquake (seriously right?). He starts talking about when we see children starve and mother's crying and people wandering around aimlessly we ask the wrong questions. We ask, "Why?" and "What?" when the real question is, "Who? Who is suffering?"
And the answer is Jesus, along with the Haitians, or the Liberians or Brazilians or you or me.
He has been there. On the cross He cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" He felt pain, sorrow, suffering and here's the word that stuck out to me, abandonment. Jesus felt abandoned. Because one day God knew, in the midst of whatever crap it is we're going through, that we would feel abandoned too. And we would be frustrated at hearing only silence from above and He knew we would need someone who had felt it all.
I don't have all the answers. I don't pretend to know why bad things happen.
But, I know in the midst of tragedy and uncertainty and just the crumminess of day to day life, that God cares. He cares. And even when we don't have the answers, He has given us hope in the form of His son who has been there, wherever "there" might be.
One of many refreshing sunsets in Liberia.
*If you want to listen to the sermon, it's from 8/18. Do it, you won't regret it!