Where are you, God?
“Where are you, God?” she whispered as she closed her eyes to the world.
Page 14, The Promise, by Darlene Gudrie Butts
How many of us have shouted, whispered or wondered, “Where are you, God?” It comes after the receipt of an unwarranted pink slip, the loss of a loved one, a natural disaster or senseless human tragedy. I have asked the question myself after my sister Deb lost her battle to cancer after believing God was going to give her a miracle.
It is human nature to assume the almighty, powerful God couldn’t be present in any of these situations because surely He would have stopped them. Surely, He would protect us from all harm. Surely, He would make His presence known. He does. It is just sometimes we are just too human to see it.
I had a discussion about the shooting of the children in Newton with my husband. He argued that God wasn’t anywhere near that shooting, for if He was, it would have been stopped. I beg to differ. I saw God in the teachers who risked and, in at least one case, lost their life protecting those children. God was with every police officer, EMT, doctor and nurse who did everything they could for all the shooting victims. He was stirred in the hearts of people who had lost the habit of prayer, but were compelled to pray for the victims’ families. He is with each and every person scarred by that moment, that day. He was with every victim as well. And, as we all have benefited from the concept of free will, the shooter did as well. God couldn’t stop him from doing what he was going to do, but we have no idea of the scope of what God did to reduce the impact. People were saved that day. People survived. I know God had something to do with it.
It is a tough argument to make in such a tragic time. I have to think though, if God doesn’t go anywhere near the big stuff, why would He make an effort in the little stuff? So, He had to have been there. And, He has to be here now, even as we grieve the loss of a loved one. He has to be here, even when things are unfair and unjust. He has to be here for us to go on.
The one thing I learned writing this book is that God never promised us this life would always be a rose garden. He couldn’t even promise that to His own son. But, He did promise us that He would be here to love us, guide us, hold us up, and bring us hope in every moment. He promised us that this is not the finish line; this is only the proving ground. He promised that we would see our loved ones again. And, He promised to take care of them until we meet again. The rest is up to us.
Now I don’t ask where God is. I look for Him because I know He is here. And that is what brings me peace in all circumstances, good or bad, big or small.
For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.
Psalm 86:10 (NIV)
“I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
I can never be lost to Your Spirit! I can never get away from my God! If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, You are there. If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, even there Your hand will guide me, Your strength will support me.
Psalm 139:7-10 (TLB)