God’s command: Go
| July 31, 2020 1:00 AM
C.S. Lewis, Christian author and theologian, coined the phrase, “Pain, the megaphone of God.” He went on to write, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains … it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Could this be true, and if so what does that mean for us?
It was just another Monday, as people went about the busyness of their lives--making dinner plans, working on projects, or watching the Denver Broncos play, when wide receiver, Ed McCaffrey’s leg gruesomely broke in half, as he was being tackled in the air in the fall of 2001 on Monday Night Football. For most Americans at the time, prayer seemed foreign, God was a distant thought, and His Church wasn’t a priority, but then came Tuesday, as two large planes crashed into the World Trade Center, and another plane, like a missile, hit the Pentagon. The terror attacks on our country brought a pain that hadn’t been experienced in a while, and with that pain came questions, “WHERE is God?” “WHY did he allow this to happen?” All of a sudden people began to acknowledge God, and people started to cry out to Him, and to return to Church. Pain very much grabbed everyone’s attention, and now, almost nineteen years later, this virus is bringing a different type of pain for many, because of isolation, job loss, or fears of death, but it too is causing people to ask the questions, “Why is this happening to us, God?” “Where are you?”
In the first few books of the Bible, we see God powerfully delivering his stubborn people, the Israelites, out of oppression and towards the Promised Land with the warning to not turn to the gods of the foreigners, as they will surely be a snare to them. As time passes, the book of Judges shows that the Israelites ignored God’s command, and they did evil in His eyes, and the LORD got their attention by allowing hardships to fall heavily on them, until they cried out for help. When they cried, God answered by sending a judge as a savior.
We read in Judges chapter 6, while Gideon beats out wheat at a winepress, that he finds himself in the presence of the angel of the LORD, who says, “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.” One would think that Gideon’s response would be encouraging and uplifting, but because of the pain experienced during the hardships of the time, he responds by saying, “If the LORD is with us, WHY then has all this [crazy and hurtful stuff] happened to us? And WHERE are all [The LORD’S] wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and given us into the hands of Midian.’” The question begs an answer, but our sovereign God doesn’t defend Himself or offer an explanation, but He instead offers a command, “Go… I will be with you!”
At a time when people are hurting in various ways for various reasons, I think about these words, “Go, I will be with you.” In the uncertainty of this season and the fear that some are experiencing, people are again asking the questions, “WHY, GOD? “WHERE are you, God?” I believe His response to us as believers would be similar to Gideon--not a defense or explanation, but a command: “Go … I am with you!” Whether times are good or bad, hard or easy, smooth or frustrating the mission hasn’t changed, it is still the same … GO!! In fact, the method is still the same; it’s about building relationships. Let’s stop sitting around, focusing on the uncertainty or the pain at hand, and let us embrace the mission of loving other people to Jesus!
Mark Hammer is the discipleship pastor at North Summit Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .