Where Was God?
“’Where have you laid him?’ He [Jesus] asked. ‘Come
and see, Lord,’ they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, ‘See how he loved
The following questions are often asked: “Where was God when my baby sister died suddenly?” “When my husband died in the prime of life?” “When my child was kidnapped, raped, and murdered?” This question is as old as Job and as fresh as today. So many also ask this question when we see acts of terrorism, massive suffering caused by evil leaders, and other tragedies.
So where is God when mankind suffers? God is where He always was and is. He is present. He knows all. He sees all. And I believe that as Jesus wept when His friend Lazarus died, so God also weeps over the suffering of mankind.
So why doesn’t God stop all this suffering? Why didn't He stop Hitler massacring millions of Jews and why didn't He stop Stalin and others who have slaughtered millions? And why doesn't He stop terrorists, rapists, kidnappers, and murderers? For the simple reason that He has given mankind a free will to choose—either to follow and obey Him or to go our own sinful, evil way. It's mankind's choice. It is every individual's choice. God never created or wanted puppets on a string. We all have been given a free will.
However, when mankind chooses the way of evil, the heart of God grieves, In fact, because God loved us so much, He gave His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for our sins and deliver us from evil and from sin's eternal consequences—hell and eternal separation from Him, the source of all love and life.
As the hymn writer, Frank E. Graeff, expressed in words:
Does Jesus care?
O yes He cares,
I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief,
The long hours weary
So sad and dreary
I know my Savior cares.
Suggested prayer: "Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when I hurt, You feel my pain and grieve with me. Thank You, too, that You also grieve when evil in the world is unleashed and people are struck down in the prime of life. And thank You that You have the gift of salvation for all who come to You confessing their sinfulness and their need to be delivered from all evil, sickness, sadness, sorrow, death, and eternal death. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
1. John 11:34-36 (NIV).