Saturday, March 20, 2021
W hen the dark storms of evil threaten …
Gideon answered him, ‘But sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, “Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?” But now the Lord has cast us off, and given us into the hand of Midian.’
But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’
Words of Grace For Today
Why is this happening to us?
Where is God?
Does God not care?
When unjust judges take life from us …
When the one who said, ‘I love you. Marry me?’, turns on you with physical violence or worse (because it is unseen) psychological gaslighting, lying to police and to church and to courts, destroying your reputation, leaving you so far in debt you will never get out, and your health plummets into pain and disarray …
When friends, bishops, and seemingly good people join the gaslighting as if you were a social pariah or dangerous sexual deviant, scapegoating you instead of dealing with their own failings to deal with reality and truth …
When there are no friends left to stand by you …
When flood waters wash away your home and life and hope …
When wildfires rage wiping out your home and life and hope …
When petty warlords churn your homeland into a war-wasted horror of death, bombs, night raids and killings, rape, torture, and dread of your neighbour falsely (or rightly) betraying you bringing death squads to your door to take you away never to be seen again …
When powers turn on your way of life, destroy it, and work to extract resources and power from your home land, leaving masses of your people without the necessities of life …
When you have lived in the wilderness for years, eking out a living of a kind, and you read of the wondrous deeds of God, as God saved our ancestors from these, similar and other worse assaults on their lives,
Then you and we will rightly ask, “God! Where are You!?! Do you not care for us!? Will you not save us, NOW! Before it is too late!”
Gideon asked this for his people. In time, as God instructed him, ((his ‘army’ blew the trumpets marching around Jericho, bringing down it’s walls, delivering it and then the rest of the Promised Land into their hands. — That was not Gideon. That was God delivering Joshua and the people. God did this so many times.))
In time, as God instructed him, Gideon with just a small army, drove out a great army and captured it’s kings … using surprise and loud noise making.
The disciples asked this as the storm of un-creation on the sea tossed their small boat about at whim between the tall waves and battered it with wind. They knew their deaths into the deep of the void (what was before creation) was imminent. Jesus wakes and speaks only a word. The un-creation void of the deep waters and winds of the storm settle into the fresh breeze and calm waters on which life was sustainable as the fishers knew so well.
God may not resolve the danger that threatens our lives. God is not a puppeteer, interrupting our freewill and others’ freewill as we choose our ragged paths forward in life through creation and human-made un-creation as we go (which we and others must then try to survive if it possible at all!)
God loves us.
God stands with us.
God suffers and weeps with us … at the loss of any of creation and any of God’s creatures … for God loves creation and all in it, and created it GOOD!
God does give us, sometimes, the possibilities to struggle against the evil that threatens us and to survive. If we live, God is with us. If we die, God is with us and gathers us home … home at last.
So whether we live or whether we die, we are God’s beloveds, blessed and grateful for whatever life we get to live in this miracle of creation!
God does not ever abandon us. Not ever. Not even during a pandemic. The stories of God rescuing our ancestors provides us witness to God’s love and care.
Thus, no matter how great the waves of evil pound over us, we do not lose hope.
As we live, we are God’s people who stand with others as the great waves of evil pound over them.
This is love. This is grateful, hope-filled living.
This is life abundant.