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Mysterious Grace

Where's God when life goes horribly wrong? He might be a lot closer than you ever imagined.


A few months ago my wife and I met with a woman who was telling us about her family. She told us that when her daughter was born she had big hopes and dreams for her child, like any mother would. She wanted her child to be used by God. Maybe her daughter would grow up to be a doctor, and God would use her mind and her hands to heal the sick. Maybe her daughter would be a lawyer, and God would use her to stand up for peace and fight against oppression and injustice.

She had hopes, dreams, and plans for her child. She's the type of mom that did everything right. She crossed her t's and dotted her i's. She bought all the right brands, all the right foods—all organic. She wouldn't even let her husband hold the child too much.

Things were going well until one day her daughter fell to the floor, convulsing. Her parents frantically rushed her to the hospital, not knowing what was wrong. Doctors stabilized her, tests were run, but they couldn't figure out what was wrong. After two weeks of painful uncertainty, they learned that her two-year old daughter had been diagnosed with a rare, neural-genetic disorder that would leave her mentally impaired for life. Through her tears, the mother asked the question that anyone in her situation would ask: Why would God allow this to happen?

All of us walk through dark times when we wonder: Where is God in the shadows, in the darkness? Where is he in the left turns and the detours of life?

Let me offer two perspectives on these questions. First, in William Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act 4, Scene 3 a character named Macduff says, "Every morn, new widows howl, new orphans cry and new sorrows strike heaven on the face." Can you feel the impact of that?

One of the beautiful things about ...

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Kevin Kim is a teaching pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California, and campus minister at Menlo's San Mateo site.

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Sermon Outline:


I. God is at work in our losses

II. God's grace is closer than you think

III. Jesus completes the story of Ruth