The past two years have been hard. With varying degrees of difficulty people around the world are living through with this pandemic. Work changed, lives were re-prioritised, and the world looks completely different.
The faith community has been no different, the message of build back stronger was spoken, deconstruction became the word of the day and still continues – no matter where you landed on that spectrum the central question was the same.
As I go into year 25 of my life I realise I haven’t lived a whole lot just yet, but I’ve fallen enough times and have had conversations with others whose lives have been wreaked with tragedy to ask, how can a good God offer a life like this?
Continually I’m drawn back to God the Father whose character is declared by the prophets and the person of Jesus presented in the Gospel.
The prophet Isaiah gives us a glimpse of the Father God; attempting to comprehend the incomprehensible:
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Yahweh is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the whole earth.
He never grows faint or weary;
there is no limit to His understanding.
- Isaiah Chapter 40, Verse 28
Isaiah within this whole book shows God both mournful and wrathful towards his chosen people who were supposed to be his representatives in the world. Instead, they rejected him, followed their own path and their own choices lead to their exile. But still he could not forsake his people and he left them with a promise a Messiah.He will come and redeem not only a chosen nation but the whole world.
When Jesus came it was not the person they expected. Instead of redeeming their temple to become the tabernacle, the Holy of Holies once more, the Word became flesh and in the beginning John it said that the Son of God came “tabernacled” over the world. Consecrating each person came to believe him. On that cross, the man who showed us what it meant to be truly human, faced greatest the darkness and because he is truly God overcame it for us all.
I’ve realised, I know so much less than I thought. And that’s makes me uncomfortable.
This year, for all of us there will be days, when trusting God will seem out of reach. But a recent podcast I listened summed up how we move out of this darkness well.
“You’ve been asking God, ‘I’m following you, the light of the world, why is everything always dark?’ But God has done everything in his power to get you to the dark place, because you are the light of the world.” – Ashley Pell
He knows all, he sees all and is closer than we now. It’s hard to trust God, but as his image bearers if we can be even a smidge like Jesus and have faith that even the hard things will reveal who he has called us to be.
Justin Sayson is a freelance journalist living on the Sunshine Coast. From about sport, music, faith or anything else, he’s always keen to discover more about the world around him. You can see more if his writing on justinsayson.com