Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1
We are approaching the one-year anniversary of one of the most destructive weather weeks in our country’s history. One year ago, tornadoes ripped through the heartland of America and one particularly devastating one gutted the town of Moore, Oklahoma, leaving us with a great deal more questions than answers about God and His ways. After that kind of occurrence, nothing seems safe…our cities, our homes, our children. Devastating.
It was against that backdrop that I found myself meditating on my church’s Re:Verse passage from that week: Psalm 118. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Awfully hard to embrace in that context, right?
When I work with congregations in the midst of conflict, there is this same difficulty…finding God and trusting His promises in the midst of devastation. Hopeless does not really begin to describe the feeling. Trusting God when the path is smooth is one thing, but believing He is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do when our world has crumbled around us…well, that’s a different thing, isn’t it?
When your entire neighborhood is literally ripped from its foundation, leaving little evidence of ever having been there, it is hard to hear about God’s love. When lifelong friendships are torn apart as a result of a church conflict, we struggle with notions of God’s promises to those who love Him, who are called according to His purposes. When our children are sent safely off to school and then are horribly and suddenly taken from us, the love of God can feel like a completely foreign concept.
I think it is important to note that God’s Word …