Rev. Dr. C. Gray Norsworthy
It snowed a little bit on my way into work this morning. Maybe you noticed it, too. I found it very pleasant to look at. Yesterday someone said how beautiful the trees looked with the coating of ice. On the other hand, that same ice caused a willow tree in my backyard to fall over and land on the fence in my neighbor's back yard. The night before we lost power about 1:00 a.m. because of the ice. And when I think about homeless folks looking for shelter on a night like that, I am both concerned and thankful for places like the Central Night Shelter where a group of our men served this past weekend. Snow might be nice to look at, but if you live in Boston or on the street in Atlanta - it can be life-threatening.
Songwriter Amy Grant wrote a song that said, "The same sun that melts the wax can harden clay/and the same rain that drowns the rat will grow the hay." ("How Can We See That Far") The Bible says this about God: "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matthew 5:45b, NIV) Sometimes the rain (like snow) brings good things, but sometimes it causes floods.
In the Sunday School Class Neal and I are leading about why there is suffering and what is God's role in all of this, someone has noted that the context often affects whether we view something as tragic or not. Rain or snow can be both good and bad - depending on where it falls and how much.
One of the truths we hold as Christians is that God does not cause evil. However, God has created a world in which evil and suffering exist. I heard someone speak after a hurricane hit the gulf coast who said that the hurricane was not an "act of God" -- what we choose to do to help those who suffered is really the act of God. So, find one way today to be "an act of God." You will be glad you did!
Prayer for Today
Gracious God, sometimes we see things happening around us that we don't understand. Suffering is real. Help us to be your hands and feet this day as we find a way to care for those facing difficult times in their lives. We thank you for working through us and in us. We pray this in the strong name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.