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.