Sometimes angry or hurting people will give voice to their discouragement by asking an oft-repeated question: “Where is God anyway?”
Understandably, they ask the question when He appears to be absent in an important area of their lives. And they’re not alone in asking it.
- Gideon asked it in Judges 6:13 when he said: “If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?”
- Moses asked it in Exodus 5:22-23 when he cried out, “O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name…you have not rescued your people at all.”
- In Psalm 42:3 the psalmist’s critics questioned him all day long asking, “Where is your God?”
I’ve asked the question, and it’s likely that you have too. Where is God anyway? If He is so loving and powerful, why is it sometimes so hard to see His evidence in the world?
I think we can stumble over the question when we limit our search for Him. Sometimes we only look for Him in dramatic, miraculous places, and when we don’t find Him there we start questioning His very existence.
What would happen if we broadened our search?
What if we reminded ourselves that He is the God of “all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3), and that “every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17)? What if we remembered that since “God is love” (1 John 4:8) every act of genuine, holy love in the world is a reflection of His nature?
I might not see Him in a cloud of fire today, but I will quite possibly see Him in the simplest acts of kindness and compassion.
God is evident in Creation…He is evident in His miracles…He is evident in His answers to prayer…He is evident in the dynamic and the dramatic…but He is also evident when a child shares his lunch, and when a mom tirelessly serves her kids, and when people do their best to reveal His love to a hurting and broken world.
As a young prisoner in a violent South African prison once said, “Of course God was already present in the prison. We just had to make Him visible.”1