Today we’re grieving the loss of 2-year-old Noah Chamberlin, who went missing January 14. Noah’s body was found less than two miles from his home after a seven-day search. The searchers faced chilling temperatures in Pinson, Tennessee, as Winter Storm Jonas was on its way.

Noah Chamberlin was on a walk with his grandmother and 4-year-old sister when he disappeared. Family and friends say Noah was a fast and active 2-year-old who loved to run and play hide-and-seek. Police and authorities do not suspect foul play, and the Chamberlin family is not being held accountable for the tragedy.

Jacob and Destiny Chamberlin were surrounded by the community of Pinson and Pinson Baptist Church, when the news came that the body of 2-year-old Noah had been found.

Chamberlain’s Faith Unshaken

Noah’s parents, Jacob and Destiny Chamberlin were known in the community as a family who had faith in God.

“They’re a faith-oriented family, and it’s remarkable to see their faith in God,” said Madison County Sheriff John Mehr.

And while the family is asking for some time to grieve and heal, Jacob and Destiny are encouraging the community to continue in prayer and to “keep this heart of service and heart of compassion for other people,” said Andy Morris, pastor of The Highlands Church in Finger, Tennessee.

The Chamberlin family’s faith is a beacon of light for their community in the midst of a dark and trying tragedy.

Asking the Hard Questions

When we face unthinkable tragedies like Noah Chamberlin, we immediately want to know why. We want to know where God was when Grandma lost track of Noah. We want to know where God was when Noah darted off and got lost. We want to know why God didn’t lead the search and rescuers right to Noah.  And we want to know why God didn’t protect Noah’s life through the seven day search. Why Noah? Why Now?

And when we can’t do anything other than weep and mourn in anguish, we ask why God doesn’t show up and do the good things we want him to do.

The answers to those questions don’t come easily, and sometimes they don’t come at all. But it’s okay to ask them. God isn’t afraid of your hard questions, and you don’t have to be either.

Sometimes it’s not because God isn’t there but that He is right in the middle of the tragedy and heartache. But sometimes eyes are too dimmed by tears and hearts too broken to see Him. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but sometimes time is what you need to notice God really did show up—it just wasn’t in the way you were expecting Him to.

Do you have a story where you saw God in the hard places? When and how did you notice God was there? What encouragement could you give to others like the Chamberlins in the middle of a tragedy?