Have you ever thought that God has abandoned you? Maybe you have made the statement, “Where is God?” As soon as you said those words did you feel the bitterness seep in bringing more despair? That was perhaps the thought of the nation 75 years ago on this “day of infamy.” Where was God when those bombers flew into Pearl Harbor and thrust America into a bloody, deadly war?
It had happened before, and many before have felt the same despair. There was a man whose wife’s clothes caught fire and she burned to death. This challenged his faith, and then there was a terrible war dividing the very soul of America. This man believed strongly in the power of God and prayed earnestly to end the madness of the Civil War. Then on top of it all, his son was wounded in battle and sent home to recover, and the man’s prayers turned to rage.
“I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men.
And in despair I bowed my head:
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said,
‘For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men.'”
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
There are seven stanzas to the song, therefore it is too long to note here. It is a song of despair, of a man with a broken heart, both for his wife and son, and for his nation. The things he loved had been wrenched away from him. Some have called this the most personal of all carols. It speaks of the heart of a man in despair, who has lost hope and faith in the God in whom in so strongly believed and trusted. This would be a bleak song, but then Longfellow’s hope and faith is renewed within his spirit. No matter what happens on earth, no matter was situation a person is in, there must come the realization that God is there with him!
“Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, goodwill to men.’
Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day–
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men!”
No matter the issue, no matter the circumstance, no matter the challenge or difficulty that life may bring, God is still in charge. He is not dead! Bring Him into your life if it is in sorrow and suffering this Christmas season. Listen, He is speaking to you. Listen…