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Tuesday: Where Is God? — 18 Comments

  1. Ps. 42:1 - A deer running from the hunters' bullets longs for water. The deer is in so much danger it cannot stop to drink from any of the cool pools or streams it passes. People who are driven by the world and hounded by busyness become like a hunted deer. Without a walk of faith with God as Best Friend, there is no "be still and know that I am God" to refresh. There are a lot of counterfeits - depression medicines, alcohols and drugs, entertainments, relationships, mind emptying exercises, workshops, workouts, even doing generous deeds for others. But there is no lasting or deep inner relief from anxiety and overwhelmedness.

    This is the story of many dear to me, right now. I'll tell one. My best friend's Mom is in her early 80s. I've known her for 30 years as a talented artist, polished and beautiful, gracious and generous, thick French accent from growing up in France, with a little pop of humor, active in the Unitarian Universalist community. Aging has come upon her hard. All the unresolved things from her past are swirling up in her now quiet empty moments. She is depressed and angry, isolating, on various medicines, she has no hope. She feels unloved and useless. She scorns any talk about Christ or Christians. For my Mom with memory loss, I can open her Bible and read to her favorite passages from the psalms and she has a Rock to cling to, a hope, a friendship with God to look back upon, and a forever future to look forward to. She, too, is incredibly anxious but she has something there to turn toward. My friend's Mom is sinking into bitterness. God has always been with her too, of course, but she doesn't want to explore that reality. She continues to cling to self-reliance.

    For the psalm writers, their laments are usually answered by hope. They may experience changes in their bodies and life situations, but they know God never changes and God always cares and feels with us. In the psalmists' prayers, the laments and praises alternate over and over...gradually, the laments grow shorter and the praises grow longer. Can you imagine navigating life without the hope we have in a loving, personal God? Let's continue to pray together for ways and means to share the grounding hope in our Emmanuel - "God with us" with those we love.

  2. Where is God when my body aches?
    Where is God when my lonely heart breaks?
    Where is God when my enemies prevail?
    Where is God when I am about to fail?
    Where is God when my spirit is vexed?
    Where is God whenI feel perplexed?
    Then I realized,
    God has been right there through it all,
    Holding me safely so I would not fall,
    Reassuring me that He still cares,
    And saying to me “my child don’t fear,”
    Where is God oh I should not ask,
    When in His loving arms I can safely bask.

  3. The question, "Where God is/was God? is often asked when faced with some enormous personal or national tragedy where we wish that God would or should have stepped in and fixed things.

    I remember a film I watched a long time ago. Its name has long escaped my memory.
    A young man had lost his wife in a very tragic situation and had wandered off by himself in despair. His father searched for him and found him alone and sobbing. He sat beside him in silence for a long time.

    The son eventually sobbed, "I miss her so much!"

    The father put his arm around his son and said, "We all miss her! She was a delight." He then went on, "Do you remember when you were a kid and you broke one of your toys? You used to bring them to me and I would work on the toy until it was fixed.

    The son nodded.

    Father continued, "I am sorry, but I cannot fix this one for you. But, know this: Your Mum and I are here for you and with you. We will work through this together with you for as long as it takes!"

    I have to live with the fact that just about every sick person I have prayed for has died. That is one of the things you have to come to terms with when you are older. The miracle I pray for is that my relationship with God and these folk has been the sort of relationship that says that God is still with us.

    If we who claim to be God's children live the notion that we are there in times of trouble for the long haul there would be a lot less people asking, "Where is God?"

    David says it so eloquently:

    Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
    I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
    Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure. Ps 23: 4,5 MSG

  4. I agree with Maurice the question where is God is often asked when faced with tragedies or loss.

    For a Christian, the issue of loss does have an additional meaning: spiritual growth. It is not automatic and there are many who regress spiritually when confronted with loss. But it is an opportunity to grow into the likeness of Christ. This is my greatest battle.

    Loss can strengthen our faith. It enable us to trust more in God and his resources than in ourselves. With every loss we are reminded of the fact that we are not in control and we are not self-sufficient. Every loss allows us to rest in the grace of God. Loss enables us to change our perspective and allows our hope and anticipation of the life to come to grow. (2nd Corinthians 4:17-18)

    Loss produces maturity. There are Character qualities such as patience, endurance, Humility, long suffering, gratitude and self control that can be develop through our loss.

    This is a reality that we find difficult to accept because we don't see things the way God see them. My prayer is that God help me to trust him through it all.

    • Paul, your words have brought a spiritual blessing upon my heart. I have always loved my trials and tribulations knowing that through them I can grow in spirit and truth.

  5. Since I decided to experience who or what God is, my life has evolved to a constant disclosure. Each fact, each marking consequence of choice, is permanently stamped with lots of learning. And this seems endless. (I feel that, as God Himself is, this is infinite). Trying to grasp God in my life is, at the same time, the answer to all my questions and the mystery no words can describe.

  6. A poem from my father reflecting on, when times get tough.

    "His Word is Sure"
    John Williams

    This we can depend on: God's word is sure.
    For He has assured us that it will endure.
    Though doubts and trials may come our way
    His word will uphold us every passing day.

    "Let not your heart be troubled", He saith.
    Allow these words to strengthen your faith,
    "I will not leave you or forsake you in life,"
    Trust in this promise during times of strife.

    When you think about asking, "Who can I trust?"
    our God is the answer, He is faithful and just.
    "Though men will forsake you, yet I will be near,"
    Let these words of assurance quiet your fears.

    "My strength is made perfect when you are weak,"
    Just think of these words when things look bleak.
    Nothing can harm you while you're in His care,
    So just take all your burdens to God in prayer.

    He sent His Son into this world to prove His Love
    and through this all blessing flow from above.
    He promised from you, no good thing to withhold,
    so you can come before His throne and be bold!

    These words are secured with the blood of Christ
    whose life on Calvary's cross was sacrificed
    that all who in faith simply trust in His word
    will live for eternity with our gracious Lord!

  7. I am always encouraged by the attitude of the three Hebrew youths who faced down a king with bold faith in their God (Daniel 3:17-18).They knew the power of God, they were confident in His ability, but they also accepted that His sovereign will supersedes any prayers they might have prayed in that fiery furnace experience. I pray for grace that we all would find the appropriate response when in our dark and difficult circumstances God does not answer our prayers the way we want Him to.🙏🏾

  8. I understand the Psalmist in his loneliness reaching out to God because he knows that He is the only One who will not forsake Him, that his God truly cares about his wellbeing! As he reaches out to God to comfort him, he assures himself that he has a relationship with Him, and to be patient until he receives a response; otherwise, why direct a lament to a God that cannot/does not hear him?

    The imagery of a Pelican in the wilderness and an owl in the dessert – both are out of their natural habitat; a pelican needs the ocean and the owl the forest. As he describes himself in such a way, he sees himself as a lonly sparrow on the housetop. He yearns for the company of other faithful friends and his God.

    What sustains my faith? In my weakness and in strength I know that my heavenly Father is present. I say I know, because I know! Nothing can displace my faith in my Father and His Son Jesus Christ’s watch-care over me.

    It is not my body which I hope to keep alive, though I treat it well. My focus is on keeping alive my love and devotion for the God who rescued me from death and leads me on the Way to eternal life.
    It has been resolved, it has been decided – I am His child and do not look to hear from other voices any longer!

  9. I see evidence of God is there for my family, and I and for so may others I come in contact with. I see prayers answered many times and when they aren't, I ask God to give me the courage to accept it as His will or answered in due time.


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