When Life Hurts, Remember the Signs

A small town church, filled with families…with Bibles in hand, voices raised in unison, praying corporately in pews, in worship together on a calm, quiet, routine Sunday morning…

A holy setting absolutely shattered as a barrage of bullets rang out. Shots and screams filled the solemn sanctuary. The calm and peace replaced with chaos, shock and horrifying terror.

This, right on the heels of last month’s Vegas tragedy. Gunfire has cut down people at movie theaters, concerts, churches, nightclubs, schools and offices.

Yet another nightmare come true. Yet another tragedy. Yet another story of innocent blood shed. Yet another headline of another madman implanting hell on earth.

Lord, WHY????

Lord, why is this happening again?

Lord…where are you?


These past few months I have been reading to my kids the Chronicles of Narnia series.

In The Silver Chair we read about a young girl being sent on a mission, a great assignment, by the great lion, Aslan, himself.

The air between them is still, clear, and crisp. His commands and warnings are gentle, concise, simple, and direct.

High up on the mountain Aslan is close, close enough she can feel his breath as He intently speaks to her the instructions.

He says:

“Stand still.

And remember.

Remember the signs.

Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night.

And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs.

And secondly, I give you a warning.

Here on the mountain, I have spoken to you clearly; I will not often do so down in Narnia.

Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken.

Take great care that it does not confuse your mind.

And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there.

That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs.

Nothing else matters.”


The air is thick here, the weight seems too heavy to bear, the journey has taken longer than hoped, the road is filled with sorrow, confusion, pain and suffering…

Lord…where are you?

The path doesn’t at all look like I thought and I am confused.

The road is filled with sorrow and I question the truer reality.

The journey is treacherous, arduous, and pain-filled and I have forgotten the signs.

I question the instructions, I doubt the process, it hurts too much, I want to give up.

Lord…where are you?




Remember the signs.

Repeat them to yourself. Say them in the morning and in the dark. Repeat them over and over again in the quiet, still moments when you wake at night.

Teach them diligently to your children, when you sit in your house and when you walk, when you lie down and when you rise…bind them on your hand, write them on the walls of your house…


The Lord our God is one. He is not far off, He is near.

He is aware, He is in control, He sees…and He weeps too.

He is the one who laid the earth’s foundations. He determined it’s measurements.

He set the cornerstone of the universe, and gave the clouds and ocean waves their boundaries.

He commands the morning and causes the dawn to know its place.

He created the heavens and stretched them out, He gives breath to the people and spirit to those who walk in it.

He has entered into the springs of the sea, and walked the recesses of the deep.

He is high and lifted up upon a throne, the train of His robe fills the temple.

The foundations of the thresholds shake at His voice.

Heaven is His throne, the earth His footstool and His majesty reaches to the ends of the earth.

He brings out the prisoners who sit in darkness and gives His glory to no other.

And He calls us…

“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness…

Sing to the Lord a new song, praise from the end of the earth…shout from the top of the mountains…

I will lead the the blind in a way that they do no know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them…

Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Blessed are the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted and reviled.

You are the salt of the earth.

You are the light of the world.

Let your light and joy shine for all men…”

And remember.


Remember the signs.

When the fog is thick, when smoke fills the air, when sorrows like sea billows roll…

When the pain takes our breath away, when the hurt chokes out the truth, when thick clouds loom overhead, when the skies grow black with despair…

When the sun darkens, when we begin to lose sight…when the whispers and lies come in close and threaten to drown out all truth…

When all we hear is the beckoning to quit, to doubt, to roll over, to throw in the towel…when we begin to lose hope and are tempted to give up…

He will comfort, He will satisfy. He will grant mercy, He will show Himself true. We are sons and daughters and we do not live as though we have no hope.



Remember the signs. And repeat them to those who need to hear them.

He is not far off, He is near. He sees…and He weeps too.



This article was originally posted as “Where Is God During Tragedy?”

Meg Marie Wallace
Meg Marie Wallace
Meg is a pastor's wife, mother to 7, writer, fitness model and professional goldfish sweeper upper. In 2016 Meg began a lifestyle blog with a focus on real life, faith, fashion, fitness, and family with the hope of encouraging women to live purposeful, beautiful lives to the glory of God and the good of others.  Join her at MegMarieWallace.com.

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