Where is God ?
When the darkness ‘round me closes in,
When fear and anxiety drum my heart’s din,
When all goodness is squeezed from my life,
When pain and suffering slash like a knife,
I call out in vain….
My tears drop like the rain…
Oh God, were can you be?
The answer is soft,
“I’m too close to see!”
I was thinking about how far away God seems at the darkest times in our life. When we need Him the most, we grope in vain to find Him.
Through my mind paraded bible heroes of faith, and I realized how they too went through 'dark' times when God seemed to be far away. Yet, in hindsight, we know their stories from God's perspective and can easily see that God was the closest to them in the worst times. He was working out what was needful for His highest purpose in their lives.
I thought of Joseph, suffering in prison for a crime he did not commit - then, when hope finally came, it was dashed for two more long years. He was forgotten - no family, no friends - where was God? He was preparing Joseph for the 'moment' when he would step into the role of second-to-Pharaoh - ruler in the land. Through Joseph, God would save the people. The telling of his story has captured the imagination of thousands of generations!
I thought of Elijah, who stood alone against a wicked king and his even more evil queen who wrathfully threatened his life. Elijah fled in fear ... where was God? God was so close He was in the whisper.
I thought of Naomi, who fled with her family to a foreign land, to escape the famine and then lost her husband as well as her two sons. She returned home , empty and feeling forsaken by God, with a heathen daughter-in-law who insisted on going with her. Had He forsaken her? Oh no, God was too close to see - He was walking alongside putting the details in place for Naomi to be blessed through her daughter-in-law, Ruth, to be the grandmother of King David and in the genealogy of Jesus.
I thought of David whose psalms express his heart's cries when he felt abandoned, unable to find God. Yet, we know, God was close ... looking upon David as a 'man after His own heart' - a king who pre-figured the coming King of kings, Jesus!
I thought of Job, who cried out for God and wished for death, unable to bear the darkness of his lonely pain and suffering. Where was God? Close ... very close.. about to speak to Job in audible voice. God knew this short time of testing in Job's life would be written about and be God-glorifying for millennia to come.
I thought of Esther, who faced a life and death situation - in her words, "If I perish, I perish." Where was God? Hovering very close, about to use Esther "for that moment of purpose" where she would save her people.
I thought of Abraham, climbing the mountain with his beloved son, ready to sacrifice him according to God's command. Where was God? Oh, so very close - about to provide in prophetic picture the supreme sacrifice He would make in the death of His own Son.
I thought of Jesus Himself , at the moment of His full humanity, when He cried out .. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?" Where was God? Oh... so very close ! His love, through His Son, reaching out to save the whole world.
God recorded these stories of bible characters for us, so that we can be encouraged and strengthened - so that we can be inspired to deepen our faith, having the assurance that even as God did not abandon them, neither will He abandon us in our time of need but will draw near to us... so near that He is too close for us to see.
Duet. 31:6 "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear, nor be afraid of them, for the Lord you God, He is the One, who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."
Heb. 13:5b,6 "... For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you', so we may boldly say, ' The Lord is my helper, I will not fear, what can man do to me?' "
Malachi 3:6 .. "For I am the Lord, I do not change!"