I pray that you and your family are doing well during this difficult time. I know we have a lot on our hearts these days so I have many comforting words coming your way to help you.
These are questions I’ve had on my heart during this pandemic and I think it is important to answer them to the best of my ability:
- Is there hope for the future?
- Where is God when we suffer?
- Why do we need to pray to God?
- Why does God let bad things happen?
1. Is there hope for the future?
Imagine that you are living during Jesus’ time.
You are at the foot of the cross looking up at Jesus.
You had heard of his miracles and maybe even witnessed His baptism, but now this same man is being tormented and crucified!
What would you have thought in these moments? (Before any knowledge of the Resurrection)
Has all hope been lost?
Will there ever be an end to this misery of the unknown?
You may have doubted that He was the Son of God and if He was the Son of God, now what!?
If we didn’t know what happened after the crucifixion, we would feel lost, hopeless and fearful. And that is how we are feeling right now during this difficult time.
We don’t know what the future holds for our world, but there are many things that we DO know and can find peace in knowing them.
Jesus looked like He was defeated, but in the end, He defeated death itself!
Death has been fresh on our minds and in the news and is the very thing we are terrified about, but God gives us Hope through the Resurrection. He proved that death is not the end.
For many men and women in the bible, it looked like the worst was about to happen but it didn’t. Instead, the impossible happened…
A young boy kills a giant man with a single stone.
Hungry lions don’t attempt to eat flesh.
Three men are unharmed in a blazing fire.
A man of old age welcomes a baby boy and is the Father of many nations.
A young virgin gives birth to a Son.
Our Innocent and Holy God is crucified and rises from the dead!
Isn’t this the theme of the Bible?
God comes to our rescue even when it seems all is lost.
Since when has life ever been of certainty? We do not know what tomorrow brings and we are not promised tomorrow whether we are in a crisis or not. Therefore, our faith should not falter now or in any situation.
What did all the above mentioned people have in common?
Wholehearted Trust in God and in His Word.
David knew He could defeat Goliath because God was with Him.
Daniel was found unharmed “because he trusted in his God.” (Daniel 6:23, RSVCE)
Abraham trusted God so much that he was willing to kill his own son believing that God would bring Him back to life!
Mary said yes without reservation.
And Jesus was obedient even to death. (Read Philippians 2:5-11)
If we trust in Him, the impossible will happen!
It really looks like the worst situation right now but “nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37, NASB)
Search for His light in this darkness.
We feel we are at the foot of the cross right now, but we have the hope of rejoicing with the Lord Almighty in the Resurrection!
2. Where is God when we suffer?
This question is one that many have asked and many of us have believed that He has left us during our darkest times, but I believe that this is when He is the closest to us.
We do not have a God who is far from our problems. We have a God who cries with us and who shares in our pains and sufferings. He is right there beside you, comforting and loving you.
Jesus wept for Mary and Martha (John 11:1-45),
felt pity for people who “looked like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36, RSVCE),
was lonely, ridiculed, thirsty, hungry,
and was in agony before His excruciating death.
Jesus was divine, but was part human so He has felt the same way we do.
He not only holds your hand through a rough time, but also because of how much He cares and loves you, He feels your pain at an even greater intensity.
Just as a mother’s heart breaks when her child is hurt, she is not the one who has the actual directed pain, but yet she still feels it because of her love for her child.
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11, RSVCE)
Think about when your children are sick or hurt, do you not wish you could take away their pain even if you had to endure it? God feels the same way about you. He does not want to see you suffer.
If we, as imperfect parents, are willing to give ourselves to our children, how much more will God give to us?
He gave us Himself through His Son, Jesus and wants us to accept Him with our whole hearts.
Jesus knew that His death would only bring us closer to His Resurrection, but don’t think for once that God wants this pain for us! Jesus already suffered enough!
He doesn’t want to see you suffer through this time and He doesn’t make these horrible things happen.
Eve believed the lie that God wasn’t good, therefore, we should believe that God IS all-good. It will change our perspective on everything.
If I believe God is good through the tears, I know goodness will come out in the end.
“Because God did not make death, and he does not rejoice in the death of the living.” (Wisdom 1:13, RSVCE)
So if God is good and He did not make death and He feels what we feel, let’s ask this question again…
Where is God when I suffer?
He is suffering alongside you.
“The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.”–St. Francis de Sales
3. Why do we need to pray to God?
You may think, why do I need to pray if God already knows what’s happening?
Although God is always with us, there is a separation between us. Not a separation caused by God, but one caused by man.
The answer is: we must invite Him into “our world” because when Adam’s sin brought death, it separated us from God.
God could intervene with all His power and might, but because we have rejected Him, He will not force anything on us even His goodness.
God can do anything! He could have just swept away the whole earth and hit the restart button after Adam and Eve, but He loved what He created even when He was rejected, and wanted that love to be returned freely without force.
God is with us all of our days but we restrict Him from entering where He is not welcomed.
How much more does He need to be rejected, mocked, and ignored? Didn’t He suffer enough on the cross?
Jesus’ crucifixion is proof that God does not reject us even when we reject Him.
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19, RSVCE)
We need to talk to Him and allow Him to come into our hearts. We need to pray for the people suffering right now so that He CAN intervene. When Jesus healed the blind, the sick, and the lame, it says, Jesus had pity on them! Most of the healings came from someone asking or begging for it and Jesus told them that their faith saved them.
“Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8, RSVCE)
Jesus had said many different versions of this throughout His time here on earth, but He meant the same thing: “Please ask me!”
There must be something more that we can’t fully understand of why He would ever need us to ask Him, but we can still believe it and act on it.
He looks with compassion on us and loves us as the Greatest of all Fathers therefore, He wants us to have all we need and sometimes all we want too!
Just as moms, we wish to give everything to our children but many times we know what is best for them. We may give them something to replace that desire or we may tell them they need to wait or we may have to say no because it is not good for them.
God is no different. He loves us so much that he would give us the whole world, but we have to trust in Him that He knows what is best for us.
Nonetheless, we can learn something from our children. They are never shy from asking us no matter what they think the answer might be. Sometimes you might surprise them and say yes to ice cream! God will surprise you too when you share your heart with full confidence.
Through all this chaos, have you stopped to ask Him for help?
Bring all your worries to Him and invite Him into your life so that you can give Him the permission to do His will in you.
God is intervening, but possibly what miracles are happening are left unseen or need a closer look.
Through prayer, God can give us comfort and wants to pour out His love for us, but will we accept it?
By our rejection, we have separated ourselves from God.
By our acceptance, we can be in communion with Him and help bring peace to a hurting world.
4. Why does God let bad things happen?
I have 2 wonderful videos that I’m recommending to answer this tough question…
First video: I am going to leave the answer to this question to an expert that needs no introduction: Father Mike Schmitz!
He has a series of YouTube videos that answer the very intimate and tough questions that we are asking in our hearts.
His daily job is working with the youth therefore his explanations are very down-to-earth and clear. Honestly, I feel like his videos make you feel like you’re just sitting down and having a casual conversation with him. I’m sure you’ve heard of him but I couldn’t recommend him enough!
This video begins with a very sad story and makes us ask this question, “Why would God allow these bad things to happen?”
This video was comforting to me during this pandemic and I hope it will bring comfort to you too!
My Favorite Quotes from the video:
“He allowed it to happen, knowing that He could bring about a greater good.” (Talking about Jesus’ crucifixion) “Not because He wants it to happen.”
“God does not will evil.”
“He can take this broken thing and bring it whole again.”
Listen to Father Mike Schmitz’s answer: https://youtu.be/0NOTU1g0Z8w (7:32)
2nd video: This video’s title is “Peace in a Pandemic” and I believe it is true to its name.
I cried a few times while watching it, but I honestly left feeling nothing but peace and that everything was going to be ok.
It came at the perfect moment because I just lost my uncle to this awful virus and I was in much need of encouragement and peace. This speaker also lost someone to this virus.
The video is from Dynamic Catholic, a company owned by the best-selling author, Matthew Kelly. He begins the introduction but the main part is presented by his co-leader, Jack Beers, of Dynamic Parish program and I really enjoyed him! I hope to hear more from him in the future.
I could just relate to him about parenting in so many ways and how scary this is right now. He actually gets choked up while speaking and this just shows his genuineness throughout the entire video. He truly shares his heart with us.
Also, for those of you who are pregnant during this pandemic, his wife was preparing to give birth during this month and he speaks about that.
Through his words, and I’m sure through the Holy Spirit, he gave me hope and clarity of this difficult time and I hope that it will do the same for you!
Warning: The video is long (37 minutes) BUT it was worth every second! Since you know how it is to try to do something that long with kids in the background, I’ll tell you what I did:
I kept it on my tabs on my phone and watched 10 minutes here and there. You actually only need to listen (not watch) so you can do this while you wash the dishes or play it through a Bluetooth speaker while you take a shower. Also, if you would like to skip the intro, go to 4:31 where Jack Beers starts to speak.
If you are feeling uncertainty and in need of God’s perspective on this, listen here: https://dynamiccatholic.com/events/peace-in-a-pandemic . “How will you respond?”
My Favorite Quotes from the video:
“That whether or not Jesus was going to calm the storm or not, they would be able to experience peace.”
“This pandemic is an intimate encounter of the greatest challenge of Christianity which is the fifth line, four words in the Our Father: Thy Will be done.”
“Depending on how we see God… it has a profound impact on how we respond to this moment.”
If you watched the videos, what were your favorite parts or quotes?
What other questions are you having during this time?