Where Is God In Hard Times?

By Deng Mangok Ayuel

April 9, 2013 (SSNA) — It was incredible morning before I wake up from bed last Sunday to have learned that ‘peace’ has been fading like morning dew in our hearts. The morning was as impossible as draining Kiir river with a tea-spoon. As I lay idly on bed, exclusively powerless like a bull to the slaughter house in Aweil, I realized that the mood around me was extremely bumbling. It was like a dream to cowardly memory after scared of tragedies. Perhaps, I should play games on the screen of computer at free time instead of browsing to panic on killings in Jonglei, cattle raiding in Rumbek. Before I go to the church for prayer in the same morning, a friend of mine phoned and told me about his cousin who was killed by rebels in Jonglei. He said that they received a message yesterday while he was killed sometimes in February. Should I go to the church or funeral? Where is God in difficult times? Where is ‘peace’ in South Sudan?

I was nearly frustrated, almost wishing a solid wall to collapse on me inside a dark room. Did tragedy in Rumbek have anything to do with me in Aweil? I was conflicting with my thoughts, blaming myself for being here and there to see people suffering in our country. I found myself staring pointlessly at the roof, but my attention was on the strange thoughts invading my solitude. I heard myself exclaiming under my breath: peace, peace, peace!

What is peace?  What do I want from it? And where is it? What is expected of me also as citizen in the country? And why am I not from South Africa? From Ghana, why not somewhere else?  Or why am I not born as a reptile, bird, fish to escape poverty and austerity measures in South Sudan? It is invincible, but I need peace.   

How about a wife? Why do I need someone who shall not be in peace with me?
Maybe everybody is getting a wife? Who and where? Must she be tall, fat, thin, or short? A beautiful girl from Somalia, Europe, Togo or Kenya!   Many wives, many mouths to feed, many enemies and there is no peace at home? Is this a life?

How about children, big office, big title, many cars, big house and big bank account? How are all these necessary to my mission and purpose on earth as a man? Maybe my exertion on earth if envisaged by those who schemed to bring me here required of me to be lonely, poor, with nothing but my voice and body without peace?

To what end are all pain and emotional stress in me? What wrong thing did I do to be punished, and how should I know I have failed to be punished? And where am I going from here? So will I be no more someday?  When, how and why?  Will that day be fearful, painful, mournful, and joyful? God knows.

I ask again! What is life all about? Why kill someone? Why loot cattle? And where is the law? And I heard myself saying I am deeply scared. Perhaps it not a great idea to be mad on Sunday morning when one is expected in the church. What is in the church? The thoughts came rushing in again. Maybe Worship God! Who is God? Male, female, old, young, Muslim, Christian or Machardit …? I gave unto God what was happening to me. God really knows what He planned for His people.

All in all, I shouldn’t remain laying on bed to mourn a missing part of my social life. I can’t change any system in our village if villagers are not united. I can’t also do something good if I don’t have resources or hands to help others. If people desire to have lengthened and indefinite periods in leadership, be honored or respected, they should do things in peaceful and helpful way toward one another if they wanted to be recognized and remembered as people who have done better things to others in this world.

Deng Mangok Ayuel lives in Aweil. He can be reached at:[email protected]

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