Are you there, God? It’s me, Deanne. Where are you? There is so much uncertainty in the world right now. So much discord, violence, hurt, illness, death, destruction, injustice, hostility, division, and hate. So much! Where are you?
When my son was three years old, my last living grandparent passed away. We told him that grandma had died and gone to heaven to be with Jesus. He just nodded his head and went on with his day, not understanding the concept of death at his young age. When we got to the funeral home, we visited with family and then went up to the open casket. On our way back to where family was gathered, my son asked, “Where is Jesus?” At first, I was confused by his question. Then I realized he thought Jesus would be physically present at the funeral home since I had said grandma was in heaven with Jesus and grandma was lying right there. Surely, Jesus was nearby, but where was He?
So where is Jesus/God? He was indeed with us in the funeral home, comforting us in our grief, although my son couldn’t see Him. God is in the gentle nudges we feel. He is in the goosebumps, “coincidences,” and the angels on earth we encounter. He is with us when our paths go a different direction than we anticipated (perhaps landing in a better and more beautiful destination than we could have imagined.) He is with us when we are in the right place at the right time. He is with us in adversity and celebration. He is always present, always listening, and always longing for our relationship with him.
In this world full of strife, we are full of fear, hurt, and pain, but he is with us. Pray for God to draw near. Lean on Him. Worship the one who is always with us, although we don’t physically see Him. Be watchful of His goodness in your life and in the world. Through all of the worldly tumult and personal anguish, God gives us courage, strength, and peace for the journey. He can turn our trials into something fruitful and beautiful. Thank you, God, for always being here guiding, protecting, and loving me.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”–Isaiah 41:10