Where is God?
Do you ever wonder where God is when everything around you is burning to the ground?
“Uh, hello God, are you there?”
Consider this: A stowaway baby, found and adopted into a royal family, everything he needs is provided for him, he grows up with privilege and influence. Then one day he sees how cruelly his birth family is being treated by his adopted family and he takes matters into his own hands and commits murder.
Whoa! Back up… you mean he identified with the enslaved instead of looking the other way? (Not advocating violence/murder, but that is what happens when we take matters into our own hands) Of course, when his “adopted” grandfather finds out, he becomes enraged and wants to kill this young man, so the man had to flee, giving up a royalty to become a sheep farmer in exile.
Or how about three young men, finding favor with a king and selected into the king’s personal service, yet were sentenced to certain death because they chose to remain faithful and trust in God instead of serving the gods of the king?
And let’s not forget the close friend of Jesus, who became deathly ill and Jesus waited until he was dead before He went to him.
Wait a minute, wait a minute, you mean the Jesus who healed people, didn’t immediately go to His friend, and heal him?
Where was God?
He was right there with them. He was and is right where He always is, on His throne and with you.
With Moses, God was in the burning bush.
The Angle of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing flame of fire from the midst of a bush, and he looked, and behold, the bush was on fire, yet it was not consumed. -Exodus 3:2
God was the cloud by day and the fire by night that led His people to the other side of the sea.
But still, the question remains, if God is there, then why did His people have to go through all that? Why didn’t God just smite the Egyptians, wipe them from the face of the earth, and spare His people the white-knuckle grip of wondering if He was going to show up and rescue them?
And the three Hebrew boys? Don’t ya know? He was with them in the fire.
Then Nebuchadnezzar the king, looked and was astounded, and he jumped up and said to his counselors, “Did we not throw three men who were tied up into the midst of the fire?”
They replied to the king, “Certainly, O king.”
He answered, “Look! I see four men untied, walking around in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt! And the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!” -Daniel 3:24-25
And still, the question is, why did the three Hebrew boys have to face the furnace? Certainly, God could have spared them that horror.
And if Jesus healed the sick and cast out demons, why didn’t He run to His sick friend and heal him instead of letting him die? And why did He wait until after he was dead and buried before He showed up?
So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him, while Mary remained sitting in the house. Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give to You.”
Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise from the dead.”
Martha replied, “I know that he will rise from the dead in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in, adheres to, trusts in, relies on Me as Savior will live even if he dies; and everyone who lives and believes in Me as Savior will never die. Do you believe this?” -John 11:20-26
So, to answer the question of why God doesn’t spare us the pain of waiting, trusting, and hoping while we go through the fires of life when He is able to just “come immediately,” is in John 11:15…
SO THAT YOU MAY BELIEVE.
But, why God?
It is easy, and understandable, to not look beyond ourselves when we are feeling hurt, rejection, fear, grief, or whatever form the fire takes, but we must remember it is not always just about us.
I do believe; help my unbelief.
When we go through the fire, God promises to be with us in the fire. And while we are in the fire, we have an audience, people are watching our testimony being written. And sure enough, if you believe, your audience, persecutors, mockers, nay-sayers, will say as they witness your deliverance, “There is no other god who is able to save in this way!”
If you find yourself in the tomb, everything has crumbled, relationships have died, money has come and went, and all that you have built has burned to the ground, remember… death comes before the resurrection. Some things have to die!
Hold on loosely to things and hold on tightly to Jesus, because sure enough, if you trust Him though He slays you, you will hear Him call your name and say, “Come forth!” And your grave clothes will be removed and He will cover you with His righteousness.
Don’t resist the valleys, because He is still God in the valleys. When you can walk with Him through the valley of death, and still not fear, but BELIEVE, you will find yourself on the peak of the mountain and your light will shine and those who see will declare…
How great are His signs and how mighty are His wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation. -Daniel 4:3
He took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and struck the waters and said, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” And when he too had struck the waters, they divided this way and that, and Elisha crossed over.” -2 Kings 2:14
Be Free & Stay Free