Eternal and Faithful God,
In these times we are getting used to a new way to be, trying to find a new normal Lord. This is not going to be a quick fix, nor will we see fast results. In fact, we might see things get worse before they get better. And with that comes suffering and grief.
Father, help us to not ask “Why did God – not stop this/ cause this/ make my loved ones sick/ not protect me and my family etc. – ?” Because any answer we may come to will inevitably reduce You to less then You are. Any answer will make You less good, less powerful, less just, less wise, less loving or any combination of those. But we know God, that You ARE Good, Powerful, Just, Wise and Loving.
Lord, we struggle to understand how all of that can be true at the same time, even in the light of tragedy. So I thank you for giving us Jesus, who showed us in the best way You know how, exactly who You are. And when faced with tragedy, with things that are unfair, when faced with grief I look to Him. I read and see how “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, whom He loved had died. His sisters were angry, sad and in pain; and Jesus too was deeply angry (John 11:33).
So I take comfort in the knowledge that You share in our grief, in the suffering that we go through now. That You are with us, and have felt what we feel. That You are not a distant God on a cloud somewhere, who is too high above it all to know how we feel. But rather, that You are the God who became human, to go through this human life with us, with all of the messiness that comes with it. That You have carried it, and that you know what it is we go through. You are not some parent who tells their child who hurt themselves not to cry. You crouch down beside us and You meet us in our grief.
Lord, let us remember that in all things you are Immanuel; God with us. You went through what we go through. You meet us in the midst of this mess we call life, You share in it with us, You comfort us, Your spirit guides us, whispers to us that we are not alone.
This prayer and post was largely inspired by the following interview / podcast episode with N.T. Wright.