Sometimes life doesn't make sense. Things happen and something deep within us wants to cry out 'No!' or 'Why?' or even 'Where are you God?'. Life can be tough as we face all sorts of trials, tribulations, issues and struggles. But it really feels like life shouldn't be like this. It feels plain wrong. It just does.
And so it should because it isn't supposed to be like this. God didn't want it like this. Remember the garden? - walking with God in paradise in the cool of the day when everything was 'good' and 'very good' and death had not become part of the lot of humanity.
Ever eaten something that disagreed with you? I had a curry the other evening. Now, I don't eat onions. They upset the delicate balance in my otherwise 'very good' stomach. I checked, I asked, specifically if there were onions in the chicken tikka masala. 'Yes, Sir. There are.' 'Do you have any dishes without onions?' I asked with a combination of hope and desperation. 'No, Sir. This is a curry house. All curry has onions.' He didn't add 'You silly man' but the implication was cleary there. Before I could stop myself, knowing full well what the consequences would be, I heard myself saying 'Oh, that'll be fine, I'm sure. I'll take the tikka masala.' Did God really say.....Did I really know.....Yes. And no amount of positive thinking or yakult was going to make any difference to me, or to humanity. Sin entered. And with it came separation from God and death (Rom 5:12). Now the whole creation is 'groaning in travail' (Rom 8:22). It wasn't, it isn't, supposed to be like that. And we know it. That's why it hurts so much. It's groaning, it's travail. It's mortality.
Everything within us wants it to be put right, for it not to hurt so much. For sin and death to be overcome. And that's why the cross is at the centre of history, for at the cross God reconciles us (puts us right) with himself. He makes the books the balance.
Because of the cross, where life triumphs over death, where the goodness of heaven overcomes the wrongs of humanity, 'that which is mortal is swallowed up into life' (2 Cor 5:4) and the groaning of humanity is no more.
It isn't supposed to be this way. And God has made sure that what's wrong has been put right in the only way it could have been. For at the cross, where Jesus redeems the pain, the old way, the wrong way, the way that led us all to death, is swallowed up in the victory of new life (1 Cor 15:54).
The Thankgiving service for the life of India, is at 2.00pm on Thursday 10th March at St Andrew's, Chorleywood. She beholds, and experiences, Him making everything new (Rev 21:5). To Him be the glory.