When God's Storm Broke
Imagine all the pain and all the hurts of life
focused into a single experience.
Add the finger smashed with the hammer,
to an incurable disease,
to the ache of rejection—
Compress into one moment all the suffering
from just one life—and the result is inconceivable.
Such a measure gives a small sense of the anguish
that Jesus experienced when all the wrath of God
for all the sin of man from all the ages
was spent on His own Son.
A small sense—because Jesus’ divinity made His capacity
to know suffering infinitely greater than mine;
His Godhood made it possible for Him to judge
against the experience of seamless fellowship.
But the Father did not spare His beloved Son;
He did not flinch to pour out righteous judgment
though it caused the pillars of the universe to shudder
and the sun to hide.
His love for us—yes, for us—was so great that He poured His
concentrated wrath upon Jesus for our sake.
That anguished Form hanging exposed to the storm of fury,
that Soul bearing the excruciating agony of sin's accumulated penalty,
casts a long shadow.
Sheltered beneath the bleeding Son,
we are untouched by condemnation justly ours,
immune to wrath we richly deserve--
because it was all spent on Him.
But He was wounded for our transgressions;
He was crushed for our iniquities;
upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with His stripes we are healed . . .
and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
© Robert G. Robbins, April 2012
There’s a common longing to find something good in circumstance, something redemptive about troubles. But attempting to wring right from wrong, good from bad is futile. God uses bad and wrong, not for hidden intrinsic benefits, but as means to a good and right end for those who love Him.
There is nothing sweet about suffering, but suffering is the path to glory. There is nothing good about loss, but loss is a means to gain. There is nothing right—and everything wrong—about death. But death, for the lover of God, is the portal to a more lively life than we have ever known.
God never calls bad good and good bad, and He doesn’t expect us to call gray skies blue, either. He didn’t expect Job to pretend that his losses were delights or to imagine that his pain was pleasure. But He was honored when Job fell on his face and worshipped: “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). He was vindicated when Job instructed his embittered wife: “. . . Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10).
In essence, Job acknowledged, “God has the right to do with me whatever He pleases—and whatever He pleases is right.” Job looked past the bad—bad that was really bad—to the God whose very nature is good.
In gray skies or blue, God is good, and He uses both blue and gray for the best of those who love Him. If we would see God from the middle of our circumstance, we have to start with the truth—after all, He is Truth. Bad is bad, but even bad is a highway to a good end, because the beginning of this circumstance and the end of it all is God.
© Robert G. Robbins, April 2011