At church last Sunday we talked a lot about a big Why question: Why does God allow bad things to happen? This of course was in reference to it being the 10 year anniversary of the tragic Sept 11 attacks in the US. It got me thinking a lot about that day and about other tragedies in my life. I can remember as a child reading Philippians 1:23-24 "I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body." I couldn't imagine longing to die even if it meant I would be in heaven with Jesus. There was so much I wanted to do on earth yet. I would pray that God would grow me to love him so much that I could say this prayer even with so much I was longing for here on earth. I think that as you get older and live through more tough times you begin to get a different perspective on our temporary life here. Yes, I'm still excited about living and all of the things God has planned for my future, but I also know that in many ways heaven will be a relief - to be with God and all the goodness and love and away from the sadness, anxiety, fear, and troubles of this world.
As I was listening to the message in church about our response to the question of Why, I kept remembering what my parents have said in response to this. While it is an important question, it must be matched with its counter: Why in a world of sin do good things happen?
So to manage all of my thoughts, I put together this layout:
The background has the verse from Philippians 3:20 "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ."
The journaling reads:
Ten years ago today tragedy hit the United States. I was teaching in my classroom when a note from the principal was delivered to all the staff. It told us that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center towers and that the Pentagon had also
been hit. We were instructed to not turn on our TVs and to plan on meeting after school. At first my brain registered that there was a plane crash. This happens every day I thought – why the special notice? Then I read the note again and the full impact settled in. My parapro and I worked as calmly as we could until the
students headed off to lunch. Then I was finally able to turn the TV on and watch the news. The rest of the day I felt a bit numb and that evening I headed over to my parents' house, not wanting to be alone. Looking back I see this as a strong reminder that
THIS IS NOT OUR HOME.
When horrible things happen we always ask “Why?” Why would an all powerful and all good God let something like this happen? This of course is a question we really can't answer. We cannot see the picture as big and in as much detail as God can. However, I think that it is so important to also asking the matching question: Why
in this world full of sin is there any good left? With Satan having such a strong foothold on this earth, how is there still love and joy and peace and faith? Because God is Love and he is here with us. God's spirit is alive and at work within us and this world. He loves us so much and continues to pour good things down on us. And there is even more reason for hope. This is not our permanent home. Our citizenship
is in heaven and we eagerly await the coming back of our savior to take us home forever.