Every month I'm required to serve as the pastor on call at the main campus of our church's facility. During this day lots can happen. Sometimes people want someone to talk to or speak for God, and other times it is a quiet day full of lots of email and busy agenda items getting done.
Today was a day full of tragedy. I watched, sat with and prayed for a family who was waiting to get word regarding their father's condition only to have them receive the news that he was no longer with us. I found myself asking many questions and not knowing how to process everything that was happening around me. I then got a phone call from my wife telling me that my cousin's little girl is doing far worse in her battle with cancer than we were aware of...and the waves of chaos began mounting.
So what do you do when life doesn't make sense? Each of us has something or someone we turn to. Sometimes this may be a group of friends; sometimes it's a particular substance we use to help us cope through the pain; other times we may put our head down and plow through the rest of our lives un-phased by the reality around us. It seems easy to talk about what we might do when we're not in a situation that is overwhelming and chaotic. The bottom line is that each of us will face these situations from time to time, and each of us will have a choice to make. What I'm learning is that God is big enough to take my frustration, pain, hurt, fear, doubt, tragedy, anger, humor and everything else all at once. Even in the moments I feel numb, like right now, God is there.
It's ok to question God's motives and intentions, or even His relevance in our world. In the end each of us will recognize we are not in control of our lives, or the world around us, but there must be someone that is. And even though this being has control, he also exhibits much restraint in allowing us the freedom to choose life or death, peace or chaos, kindness or calamity.
And when life just doesn't make sense, I think it's ok that we desire to feel something that does.
How can we navigate through the uncertainty of conflict in relationships? Where do we start?
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