Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Where is He?

Where is He? God... where is He when all the bad stuff happens, when the hurt is so deep you can't even put it into words? When your mom has cancer ~ where is God during that? Where is He when your kid is in the hospital? When the check bounces? When the money is not there to pay the power bill? Where is He when you lose your virginity at the hands of a master manipulator that tells you he won't stop? Where was He on that cold, dark night fifteen years ago?

I guess this is a question I've asked myself internally for years now. Where was He? Why did He let it happen? Why didn't He stop it all... give me the sense and physical power to stop it myself... prevent me from being there where I shouldn't have been? Why? And throughout my life, the whys continue. Anything negative that happens, I constantly question the reasons, while the good stuff I just absorb and don't question at all. Why don't I question the good stuff? There's another why...

So, I am in the midst of this study, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner, and it's making me question even more deeply. Why? Where was He? What does it all mean? And in reading chapter two, I have put together my own answer for this burning life question...

Where is God when all the bad stuff happens? He's in the same place He's always been, the very same place He was the day He watched His Son being tortured, humiliated, mocked, and murdered.

Why does He let bad stuff happen? Because He sees the picture we can't see, the good that will come from even the most horrific, tragic event, in due time. Look at what came out of the murder of His only Son.

This is the first time in my life when I realize that God knows pain, tragedy, loss. He knows it; He's felt it. I read in Luke 23:44-45 that as Jesus hung on the cross, "It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two." Did you hear that? Darkness for three hours? The sun stopped shining. Stopped. Can you feel that in you soul? I've felt it... I've felt my light go dim. I've felt it for years at a time. And now, that fire, zeal, that light within is building, building... growing.

I guess yesterday was the first time I put two and two together that God was there that night. He was there. He felt it. He mourned beside me as I vomited the contents of my stomach in the darkness of a cold bathroom. He was there as I cried myself to sleep alone. He was there the all the days and weeks and months and years to follow, holding me up when I needed it, walking beside me when I couldn't even feel His presence, rejoicing in me when I reached out to Him seeking wisdom from His Holy Word. He was there, and is there still, and always will be.

He is with my mother. He is there when she is doubtful, fearful, unsure. He was with her as they drained the cancerous fluid from her body yesterday. He was there the day she sat alone in an office as a doctor said he felt certain it was cancer without even looking at a biopsy report. He was there during all those chemo treatments, radiation sessions, and every scan she had along the way. He was there when she learned it was back and that she'd fight it the rest of her life. He knows her pain. He knows mine, too, and my father and brothers' pain as well. He knows it all, and He knows the ending and what beautiful works will come about because of it. He was there, and still is, and will always be.

So where is He to you? Is He there and you just can't see Him yet? Are you holding His hand? Reaching out to Him? Seeking His wisdom and never-failing advice from His Word? I hope so... I am trying. I am trying to hold on tight right now and waller (sorry ~ I am so southern!) in the fact that He is never going to leave me, give up on me, walk away from me, or turn His back on me. And that He understands the pain of my past, why I made all those stupid choices, why I continue to struggle and always will. He also knows how dark loss and pain feel; it's chronicled in that passage in Luke.

So where is He? Well, He just is... and is everywhere for all time. Amen.

5 comments:

connecting with the soul said...

Beautiful thoughts, I hadn't thought of Jesus' death from The Fathers point of view, thanks. How is your mother today? Every time I read about her I see such a strong set of women, in both of you.

Deb

Erika said...

Deb is right, it's hard to think of it from a Father's point of view. I know I've thought before, well, so, God knew he was coming to Heaven after he died. But thinking of my own children, when they get hurt, I know they will get better, it still hurts me. It takes very conscious thought on my behalf to think of God the Father, not just God the God.

carrie said...

Beautiful!

Victoria said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I so needed to read this today...to "waller" in it! :)
God knows. He can't not know! He created each thing and knows the blueprints to our lives...even when we doubt...even when we try to hide, which I have been doing lately.
Thank you! Just the reminder I needed!

Kelly O'Dell Stanley said...

One morning a couple weeks ago I was praying for my mom and for a friend whose cancer has starting spreading again. The friend is 40, has two young kids. My mom is 70 and my sister and I are in our 40s. God never asks us to have to pick just one thing to ask Him, yet I find myself bargaining sometimes. "If I can just have one thing, Lord, I want ___." That morning, as my heart broke thinking about the enormity the loss of this friend would be to her family, even knowing how much I love my own mom and don't want to lose her, I felt God speak to me. "Now do you see why it had to be MY son?" He couldn't ask anyone else to suffer that loss. He couldn't do that to anyone else. As much grief as it caused Him, He knew it was for a greater good, and He wouldn't allow anyone else to suffer such pain. It was a whole new perspective to me. And a reminder that He knows. He knows how much this hurts. He knows how sad my mom is. He knows that we're already grieving a loss we haven't yet experienced. And you're right. He's right there, loving us all, heart breaking with ours.

I'm so glad we found each other online. I continue to pray for your mom, and my heart breaks for you. This is a hard road. You've obviously been down other really hard roads, too. I just ask God to hold us both up as we walk down these paths that we don't want to be on.

Xoxox