Chappy’s corner “Why didn’t you do something?”

The rain came and the waters rose.  Ole stood on his front steps when the Army National Guard truck came by and the Soldier said, “Jump in and we will take you to dry ground!”  Ole replied, “God will take care of me!” The truck drove off and the waters rose forcing Ole to go the second floor of his home. Ole looking out his window saw a Coast Guard boat come by and the Sailor shouted, “Get in and we will take you to dry ground.”  Ole replied, “God will take care of me!” The boat went on and the flood waters rose higher.  Now standing on his roof top, Ole looked up and saw a helicopter flying over him. A rope was lower and the Airman shouted “Grab the rope and we will haul you to dry ground.”    Ole replied, “God will take care of me!” The helicopter flew away, the waters rose and Ole drowned.   Suddenly Ole found himself in heaven and looking at God, Ole said, “Hey God I don’t mean to complain, but as the water kept rising, why didn’t you do something?”  God replied, “I did. I sent a truck, a boat and a helicopter.”

In the midst of a disaster many people fail to see God in the picture. Instead of seeing God providing the help they need, they tend to blame God for the disaster.   They think that if God is almighty, then why does He allow these terrible storms to happen?  That kind of thinking is probably happening in Texas right now or in some other state. That kind of thinking is the same thinking a person has when a child dies of an accident, or a spouse from cancer or a Soldier dies in battle.  They want to know where God was and why didn’t God do something.


Many years ago a father whose son died in the war argued with his pastor saying, “Tell me where was God when my son died?” The pastor at that moment was at a loss for words, but then he noticed on the wall a cross, and at that moment the pastor knew what to say. “I’m sorry your son was killed, but the answer to your question is “When your son was killed God was in the same place where He was when His own Son was killed.”


When bad things happen in life, we may not understand why they happen or why God lets them happen, but we do know the amazing love of God in Jesus His Son.  The scriptures state “But God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!”  God didn’t have to send Jesus to save us, but He did because God wants to us give us more than dry ground.  He wants us to have a life with Him now and forever, and the only way that could happen was for God to make the sacrifice of His only Son for us.


When bad things happen in life, and they happen to all of us, the comfort we have is that God has not deserted us.  God is in the midst of our troubles and very often He is providing a way to help us.  It might come in the form of a National Guard truck, or boat or helicopter during a disaster.  Or it might simply be the presence and advice of a good friend or   coworker.  In fact, we might be the instrument of God’s mercy to someone.  We should always be alert to the needs of others and see how God can use us.  Our challenge is to ask “what is something I can do?” to help others in this difficult time.  Maybe our role is volunteering to clean up after a storm, or preparing a meal for a family who lost a loved one, offering to babysit their children as they wait at the hospital.  There are plenty of ways God may use us to help others.


Whatever way God chooses to help someone hopefully they will take advantage of it.  I think this story illustrates that point.  Lena prayed “Dear God I really, really want to win the raffle at the senior center.  Please God let me win.” At that moment an angel arrived with this message, “God says it would help if you at least bought a raffle ticket!”  When bad things happen God is there to help, our challenge is to see all the ways He does help us instead of asking “Why didn’t you do something?”


That’s just my thoughts from this rainy corner of SE corner of South Dakota!

CH (COL) David Gunderson

State Chaplain for SDARNG