You Had to Know – Yet You Let it Go

I can’t comprehend disaster LORD
My mind won’t wrap around it
I can’t explain disaster LORD
Haiti then Christ’s Church and
Now Japan

You had to know – yet you let it go
You let their world collapse LORD
Each one of them is precious to you
This alone
Makes me tremble

Did you plan the destiny of every one
I know you give us choices but
Had time run out for those that perished
Like souls whose
Hearts just stop

Time passed from them without warning LORD
This can happen to anyone
Life’s moments abruptly quit ticking like
Minutes on a clock
That stops

Your sovereignty makes people furious LORD
We think you must be a heartless God
We forget the cross at times like this
We want bliss
Not this

I know you made the worlds and all there is
You made us and we didn’t make ourselves
Man in his pride so oft denies this and
In arrogance decides
You don’t exist

Like the Evil One who rose up in Heaven to take
By force your throne from you
Their fate is sealed like his but still
Would these not have
Changed their minds

My thoughts turn to struggling survivors LORD
What will you do for them – everyone
Wants to know – will you help them now
Will your church
Rise up for you

Let the church be the church – let her rise
To her calling – Let her shine her light –
Let her share her love and her goods
Lest her master
Shut her doors

You had to know – yet you let it go
You let their world collapse LORD
Believers and unbelievers alike
This alone
Makes me tremble

Reach out to Japan with love LORD through us
Shine your light for the people that live
Open their hearts and minds LORD please
Help their

Help our unbelief
Help our unbelief

By Carol Ann Hoel © March 14, 2011


Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 – The Bible – I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.

John 3:16-19 – The Bible – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Romans 8:28-30 – The Bible – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 – The Bible – For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us…

1 Peter 1:5-8 – The Bible – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory…


About Carol Ann Ritchey

Life is good because God is good.
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27 Responses to You Had to Know – Yet You Let it Go

  1. pattisj says:

    Wonderfully written, as usual. You are truly a pen in the Hand of God. A reminder that we don’t know how many days we have this side of Heaven; and that we may be the only Jesus some people ever see.


  2. planejaner says:

    Carol Ann–
    You gave words to what I have been struggling to deal with, comprehend and understand…


    • Thank you for stopping by, Jane. Watching the awful scenes of the aftermath of the tsunami and the earthquake leave me experiencing empathy for those people and feeling vulnerable myself. Even in this age of grace, disasters happen. Yet His mercy and grace are with us. Blessings to you, too, Jane…


  3. There are so many things that are hard to comprehend. This made me aware of the need to live fully in the moment and to be loving. “Be watchful.” I am in the Coachella Valley (near Palm Springs) right now where they are expecting the “big one” any time.


    • When I think of how well Japan has prepared for earthquakes, it’s astonishing that one could strike with such magnitude that it seemed to make little difference. Apparently, it could have been much worse without their preparedness.

      Yes, life is fragile, it seems; but still, Gos is in control. I believe this, even though, I don’t understand all of His ways. Some of His ways I have learned, yet, others remain a mystery. Blessings to you…


  4. Keli Gwyn says:

    Carol Ann, what a poignant expression of the plethora of feelings one encounters following such an event. You have a real way with words.

    All those affected by the earthquake and tsunami are in my prayers.


  5. Ike says:

    These bad things happened to you because I intend to work it together for your good (Romans 8).
    These happened so that you would rely more on God who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1).
    This happened so that the gold and silver of your faith would be refined (1 Peter 1).
    This thorn is so that the power of Christ would be magnified in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12).

    God cannot make plain all he is doing, because there are millions and millions and millions and millions of effects of every event in our lives, the good and the bad. God guides them all. They all have micro purposes and macro purposes. He cannot tell us all of them because our brains can’t hold all of them.
    Trust does not demand more than God has told us. And he has given us immeasurably precious promises that he is in control of all things and only does good to his children. And he has given us a very thick book where we can read story after story after story about how he rules for the good of his people.

    My wife experienced cancer. It returned once again. She is now in renal failure. “We” are not living- “Our Best Life Now”- as the smiling pastor in Texas would like us to believe. While “we” were sinner’s….the worst of the worst. He saved “us”! And that is enough! He is “PRECIOUS”!!!


    • Yes, Jesus is precious. More than precious. I agree with you in this and all you have said. You and your wife have been living through a long trial. My heart goes out to you. Fourteen years ago, I lost my husband to cancer after a four-year battle. He had multiple myeloma, cancer of the blood cells in the bone marrow, which was terminal. Radiation and chemotherapy gave us time together, but it was a time of pain and suffering for him, yet He trusted God. I like the statement you made: “Trust does not demand more than God has told us.”

      May God continue to strengthen and comfort you and your wife as you face this fiery trial. He walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death. We have His promise. And we have eternity to look forward to. This is not our best time, indeed; better times are coming.

      I have added the Bible references you mentioned to my post. Thank you for adding more wisdom concerning our sufferings on earth. Blessings to you…


  6. Yvette says:

    A lovely poem and while reading this it came to mind…With all the hatred and war zones, would a natural disaster happen in this war zone?…what do we do as nations after a natural disaster…we join together in forces to help out the needy, clean up the messes, lend a hand, give donations, where there is love, God reaches out and SHARES our love and kindness. x


    • Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. People need help in disastrous situations. We can pray and we can help wherever possible to alleviate suffering. What you said is true. God reaches out. He have us Jesus, and He stands behind us as we minister to people in need. Blessings to you, Yvette…


  7. So often people ask that question…why did God let that happen, if God loves us so much? Where was God when those people – the little ones and the old – cried out to you for help, in pain, afraid, and feeling alone?

    We who are Christians know the answer, and it is up to us to live a life that reflects that assurance: God created this world and all that is in it, and the physical laws of the universe. God did not step in to prevent it, but God was there – with each and every one of God’s beloved children. Nothing that happens be it man-made disasters or the consequences that are part of this world – nothing – can separate us from that perfect Love, and it will always sustain us.

    God meant for those of us who profess to follow Christ’s example to reach out and show God’s love in our tangible presence, by working, along side of the suffering, giving of oru gifts and talents, and praying constantly, with absolute trust and faith that God is present both without and within to meet each and every need! Knowing all these things is part of the unsurpasssed blessing of communion with God.


  8. lbdiamond says:

    Sometimes it’s hard to tell if natural disasters are God’s hand, Satan’s game, or just plain natural. Or heck, maybe all 3 at once!

    At least there is prayer and faith to fall back on.

    Lovely poem, Carol Ann!


    • I always like to think that God knew it but didn’t instigate it. Natural seems a good answer in this case. Ecclesiastes seems to indicate that we are all susceptible to such. Satan. Yes, let’s put it on him. I’m just kidding. I don’t know the answer. There are lots of questions I cannot answer. I believe that God is good. I depend on it. You said the best answer there is: “At least there is prayer and faith to fall back on.” Blessings to you, Laura…


  9. jannatwrites says:

    You expressed the mixture of feelings beautifully. It’s easy to get angry at God when “bad” things happen. Remembering that He has a reason, even though we can’t find an explanation is a great way to carry emotionally carry on.


    • Thank you for your kind comment, Janna. I know that God doesn’t owe us an explanation, nor does He act based on our approval level. I expressed the mostly unspoken feelings people may experience facing disaster. We know that God is just and His mercy endures forever. Your comment says it well. Trusting that God always has a holy purpose emanating from His eternal love, we may carry on in peace, whatever happens to us or around us. Blessings to you, Janna…


  10. theonlycin says:

    You put the tragedy into perspective well, Carol. Thanks. xxx


  11. trisha says:

    a poem expressing your noble heart. in case of disasters like this i think bad things happen, and just as you said, its time for others to reach out and hold those that are suffering. to prove we are children of same God.


    • I apologize for not having replied to your comment sooner. This was an oversight, Trisha. Thank you for your sweet comment. Yes, it is time for us to reach out to the suffering ones to help them. Blessings to you, Trisha…


  12. Carol, I think your words say what so many people are thinking.
    Before the Renaissance, life was hard and often short, and people had little to look forward to except going to meet their Creator in heaven. They leaned on that.
    Over the centuries, as man invented ways to make work easier, improve health, and extend life, people have fallen away from their dependence on God. Especially today, with our abundance of technological wonders, genetic science, and vanity/elective surgery, we try to be in control of every detail of our lives.
    When a natural disaster happens, it serves to remind us that we are not in control. Often, it is then that people who have “outgrown” God rail at Him demanding to know why He allowed or caused such a thing to happen. Soon enough, though, they will go back to their lives and forget Him again.
    While we don’t know the reason behind all suffering, we do know that what God wants most of all is for us to lean on Him and give comfort to our neighbor. I think He is able to smile through the tears when He sees many nations spring into action to help people they’ve never met, even on the far side of the world.


    • It’s very true that people forget God when life is full and abundant. Then when tragedies befall us, we want to blame. God is good, and when we know that we know that we know God is good, we look from a different perspective. You are right that we shouldn’t rail against God, and perhaps my verse was too strong. I think it was, in fact. However, I might have felt that way myself, if I were in Japan and had lost a loved one to the muddy waters. It’s one thing for us to have feelings; the fact remains that God is good, and He loves us, and his works are grounded in love and mercy. God deserves our praises.

      Thank you for your comment. It’s full of truth. You understand God, His love, and His sovereignty. And you understand people. I know that someday we will all know that God has always been faithful in His love for the world. God, in love, planned Calvary. Jesus is LORD. Blessings to you, Jennifer…


      • Honestly, I wasn’t referring to your poem when I mentioned railing against God. Again, I think you spoke for many. Even Jesus cried out to His Father from the cross.
        God is not only our Creator, who made us with all our human frailty, He is also our Father who forgives us our outbursts.
        I’m sure every parent has weathered the “I hate you” storm from his or her child, undoubtedly one of the worst experiences a parent can have. However, a loving father or mother forgives the child and moves forward in the relationship.
        I think God is like that, too. He gets His “I hate you”s from people, but He is always ready to forgive and welcome us back into the fold.
        I’ve gotten angry with God over circumstances in my life, but I feel that He’s tough enough to take it. It may not be right for others, depending on their relationship with Him, but I’ve always felt I can completely vent to Him and He understands. We get along, otherwise. 😉
        My issue is with folks who ignore God for the most part and seem only to notice Him long enough to place blame. This is especially common among folks who challenge our belief. They’ll ask, “Why would you want to believe in a God who lets terrible things happen?” And, as you see, it’s an excellent conversation starter. 🙂 -Jen


      • You comment tells exactly the truth about our loving God. I, too, have that relationship that allows me to express my feelings. I know when my feelings contradict truth, and I acknowledge it, yet we must deal with our feelings. I take mine to the LORD, and as you say, He’s big enough, His shoulders are strong, and He doesn’t scold me unless He must for my own good. He never leaves me. Oh, God is silent sometimes, but I know, I KNOW He’s there. During a silent time between us, I’ll say to Him, I know you’re here, and I know He’s pleased. Thank you for all the good words, and I hope lots of people read them. Blessings to you, Jennifer…


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