Sometimes it seems like God is nowhere to be found. Far away from the turmoil that has made a home in our hearts and lives. And naturally, we become frustrated, uneasy, and uncomfortable. These emotions unfold and affect us in different ways.
Still, no matter the manner or form that they manifest themselves, they are real and difficult to ignore.
This was Asaph’s situation.
In his contemplation in Psalm 74, we find him crying out to God asking God to remember His people (Psalm 74:1-3); he details the catastrophe experienced by his nation because of the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar; he asked God to run to their aid and spare them… to defend them – as He had done before. He reflected on God’s glory and creative power (Psalm 74:12-17) and urged God to do something, and say something (Psalm 74:18-23).
It was Asaph’s honest lament on a rainy day when God seemed far away and his prayer as well as the prayers of his people seemed not to reach the heavens.
Of course God did not forget them. He was simply allowing them to experience the consequences of their sins against Him – since their actions revealed in the past that they had no need for Him.
Sometimes, I grapple with the emotions expressed by Asaph in the Psalm.
Whatever the catalyst, I cry out to God, stretch out my frustrated and empty hand to Him, battle with doubtful, troubling thoughts, endure His silence…urging Him to do something and say something. All the while, completely naïve to His workings behind the scenes or of the lesson He is lovingly teaching me or of the consequences of my sin and their effect on my relationship with Him.
Still, every time, I move beyond my emotions and come out on the other side of the burden, one thing remains true – my overwhelming sense of rejection and abandonment never reflect or mirror a rejection and abandoning by God. He was always present.
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalm 139:7–10).
God is very present…even on our less-than-perfect days.
He is always there. In us. Around us. With us. In spite of us.
He is not trying to frustrate or confuse us with His silence. He isn’t hiding from us or holding out on us. He is waiting for us to see Him for who He really is and trust His character, even when our emotions tell us differently. He is waiting for us to take up the challenge to seek harder after Him, even if it feels like we miss His presence with every grasp.
If you find yourself ending the week wondering, “where is God in this mess”– pause and rest in the silence of God. It’s safe and loving there…even if it doesn’t feel that way. If you find yourself craving relief from burdens too heavy to bear for another second or too dark to share with anyone – take comfort in this:
No person or circumstance can ever remove us from the presence of our loving God. He is always with us, hearing our cries for help. He is always with us, protecting us from danger. He is forever, our ever-present God.
“He knows just what we need, just what we can bear, and He will give us grace to endure every trial and test that He brings upon us” – Ellen G. White.
I’ll be praying for you this weekend …. praying that you see this time as a chance to experience a different side of God’s love rather than a time to sulk, doubt, fret and worse yet, give up.
(C) 2017, Dentrecia Blanchette