Thursday, January 29, 2009

God, where are you?!

I think that if you haven't asked this question already it is inevitable that you will.

It's the question you ask -
when you realize your life is not at all as you imagined it should be.
when all you have are questions and no viable options
when suddenly you've been dealt a tragedy.
when evil wins and good is dismissed.
when no matter what you do, it's not better.
when you step out in faith and fall flat on your face.
when you've lived your life as a good and faithful servant and something goes terribly wrong.

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:45)

I go east, but he is not there.
I go west, but I cannot find him.
I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden.
I look to the south, but he is concealed. (Job 23:8,9)

I cry out to God; yes, I shout.
Oh, that God would listen to me!
When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord.
All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted.
I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help.
You don’t let me sleep. I am too distressed even to pray!

I think of the good old days, long since ended, when my nights were filled with joyful songs.
I search my soul and ponder the difference now.

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 compassion?
(Psalm 77: 1-9)

Do these phrases feel familiar?

Where is God?

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
his ears are open to their cries for help. (Psalm 34:15)

But I'm not getting any answers; things aren't getting better.

But He knows where I am going. (Job 23:10)

I can't deal with this alone.

I will never fail you. I will never abandon you. (Hebrews 13:5)

I just don't see why this has happened or how it will resolve.

And I am sure that God who began this good work in you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again. (Philippians 1:6)

Here it is we find ourselves like David in Psalm 77.
He recalled the great things that God had done in his life and the history of his people; how that when the Israelites had the Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh's army behind them (talk about being between a rock and a hard place) that
"Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters- a pathway no one knew was there!" (vs.10)
He sought to remember that God is great and bigger than any and every thing.

And here quite simply we have to answer this question, in this way.
What is faith?

It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen and the conviction of its reality.
(Heb. 11:1)

God is.
God is attentive.
God is aware.
God is in control
God has not abandoned you.
God is guiding you.

Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink,
he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left.
(Isaiah 30:20.21)

God is with you.
(Joshua 1:9)

You keep track of all my sorrows
You have collected all my tears in your bottle
You have recorded each one in your book...
This I know that
God is for me.
(Psalms 56:8,9)

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