Recent headlines won’t let us escape the hurt and pain in the world. Daily news shows bombed apartment buildings in Ukrainian cities and small children with their families seeking shelter far underground in train terminals.
The world is slowly recovering from the devastation of Covid-19 and the disruption of life as we all knew it. We won’t soon forget seeing refrigerated morgue trucks parked outside hospitals as the death toll surpassed their capacity.
It’s hard to ignore the words of Jesus as he warned about the end of time:
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Sorrows, indeed. Around the world and right in our neighborhoods, we have seen and felt the sadness of the times. So, in all of this, where is God? Surely He sees what’s happening. Does He care?
This question is in the minds of many people–many of us. It’s an old question, and God is not intimidated by it. Around 3,000 years ago, the psalmist Asaph cried:
‘Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me? Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his ompassion?’ (Psalm 77:7-9)
Asaph, like King David, was honest in his prayers to the Lord. Our emotions should never define God, but we have to work through them to develop an authentic relationship with Him. If we press through our feelings and sincerely turn to His Word, the Holy Spirit will guide us into the truth about who God is and into the wisdom and comfort we need. Asaph prayed beyond his hurt and frustration and declared:
‘But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.’ (Psalm 77:11-12)
Where is God? First of all, He must be in our thoughts and in our memories. In hard times, it becomes easy to fill our minds with worries and plans to save ourselves. We have to give our attention to the Lord on purpose. If we recall where He has appeared for us before, we will be positioned to see Him in unfamiliar ways and places, as the Israelites did long ago:
‘Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters— A pathway no one knew was there!’ (Psalm 77:19)
Where is God? He’s in unexpected places–water from the rocks, manna from the sky, and a highway in the middle of the sea! God is where His people are looking for Him in faith.
Faith Challenge: Write down two areas of your life that seem most intimidating. Declare Psalm 77:19 over them for the rest of this month.