God Will Help Us Bear The Unbearable

Faith isn't embarrassed by disaster, as it wasn't designed to avoid confronting pain

Just a few days ago, I walked the streets of New York City. People from all walks of life--so different and yet so similar--hustled to work by subway and taxi. Languages mixed in the streets in a fabulous cacophony of tongues from all over the world as residents did business or laughed with friends.

What do such diverse people have in common? Many things. But the main one now is pain.

An act of terrorism that turned Americans into unwilling kamikazes hit the country like an earthquake, and the tremors will reverberate for years to come. The only place where the shaking will eventually cease--given time--is the hearts of a people whose trust is in God. God will bring us through. God can help us even when men hurt us.

Our faith is being tested now. But faith is not embarrassed by disaster, as it was not designed to avoid the confrontation of painful things. Faith was designed to comfort us when there seems no justifiable explanation for the crises that we face. God doesn't say that we will not pass through trouble. He just promises that when we do pass through the water of trouble, He will be there with us.

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Like a boss who goes with his crew into danger rather than send them alone, God goes with us into the pained moments, providing courage and strength, compassion and fortitude. He knows that what we face is more than is humanly possible to bear.

This tragedy at the hands of terrorists is a prime example of man turned against man. It is not the working of nature, nor is it the working of some supernatural intervention. But God is the place of refuge where the soul resides when life becomes as savage as it has today.

Americans are grief-stricken. We know that many children who left the airport waving goodbye to parents will see them no more. Others are devastated because loved ones went to work and died beneath tons of wreckage. We are tempted to ponder the ageless, frivolous question--"Why?"--to which there is no answer.

So what do we do when life gives us no legitimate answers? God doesn't promise answers to every question. But He does give us grace to bear situations that are often out of our hands.

When people lose loved ones like this, they may never understand why. They face the need to grieve and, eventually, to move forward. They must move by faith.

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