Where's God in This?
In the message last week, we noted how Israel may have wondered "Where's God" in the midst of being attacked repeatedly by the surrounding nations. We also thought about times when perhaps we've asked that question in the midst of feeling surrounded by opposing circumstances.
I hope that the passage and the message gave reason to believe that God is smack dab in the middle of those situations, and that He's sovereign over them.
Well, that's nice and tidy theology.
I was at my 35th year high school reunion last weekend, and one of my classmates was sharing about difficulty she was having with one of her kids (and other unnamed things), which made her feel surrounded, just like we discussed in our message the very next morning. She is a woman of faith and was not wondering "Where's God?", but still wondering what difference He was going to make.
What do we say to friends (or to ourselves!) in the midst of that feeling without sounding thin and hand-wavy?
There is no one right answer, of course. We need to listen first and second, and then third maybe open our mouths - but never in order to make a flimsy promise on God's behalf that He never intended.
One truth I do find reassuring is this: If God is not fully God in the hard times, then He's not God at all.
If God is only effectively God in our lives when things are going well, then He's a very weak god who deserves no worship, no praise, no loyalty. In fact, this kind of god would be no god at all - merely an idol of happy times.
He must be fully, actively, accessibly God in the worst of times in order to be truly God at all. It's similar to why Jesus insists on the love of the Gospel reaching the "least of these" in tangible ways: If the Good News isn't Good News to the most neglected person, it's not Good News at all.
We want to know what God is going to do in hard times. We need to know that He's still fully God in those times. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is admit our ignorance and reassure one another that if God is worth anything, He must be God in our worst moments.
(image: CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=128983)