- Are there any actions of God that you find difficult to reconcile with your perceptions of God?
- What do you think of the statement, “Every human adversity is of the devil”?
- Do you believe that God is present in our pain?
The Same God
The voice of the Lord strikes with bolts of lightning.
The Lord blesses people with peace.
- Psalm 29:7 & 11 (NLT)
The elderly mother of one of our church trustees is one of the sweetest people you could ever meet. She’s truly a venerable soul, not just because of age, but because of a wise character that inspires so many. In the decades I’ve known her, she has exuded warmth and good will.
Some time ago, gun laws in Georgia required our church officers to post signs at our entrances stating that firearms were prohibited, except for designated security personnel. In a trustee meeting where the signs were being discussed, the daughter of that demure elderly woman stated: “Well, I’ll have to inform my mother that she can no longer pack her pistol in her purse when she comes to church anymore.”
“You’re joking,” I said.
“Oh no,” she responded. “That sweet little lady we all love has been a licensed gun carrier ever since I’ve known her. And believe me, she knows how to use it.”
Since that day, I’ve often thought about how to reconcile the sweet venerable woman I’d come to know with the intrepid gun toting woman her daughter revealed her to be. I concluded that my images of her might be conflicted, but the woman herself is the same woman she’s always been.
Sometimes it’s hard for us to reconcile the God who shatters the earth in bolts of lightning with the God whose eye is on the sparrow.
In days of volatility we are tempted to desperately search for God’s strike – or for God’s comfort. But we should know that the God of our tsunami is also the God of our strength.
God, you disrupt our calm. Continue to be our peace. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.