I must say that the question above makes me crusty. I’m not going to lie. I don’t think people are wrong in asking the question, but I’m saddened by the question,and crusty, nonetheless. And at the same time, I am strengthened and encouraged.
People ask, “Where is God in all of this?” This, referring to pain, heartache, sickness, disease, poverty, abuse, war, loss, death, horrible, horrible things…
People ask, “Why do bad things happen to: good people, innocent people, me?” Good, referring to humans that aren’t as bad, as say, bad guys, or innocent, referring to children or helpless victims, or maybe innocent in hopeful reference to themselves.
I get the questions. The wondering. The temptation to compare. The inability to make sense of it all…”Why is his/her life so easy?” “Why did my: wife, husband, child, friend, gramma, grampa, aunt, uncle, cousin, sibling; die? They were: wonderful, kind, so giving, so young…they loved God so much…it’s such a waste…” I am not pretending to make sense of it all, but I can, and boldly will, say this:
God isn’t somewhere else…He’s in the middle of all of it. Now, understand I did not say that God makes it all happen. There’s a reason God left the book of Job in the Bible. For that matter, He left all the words so that we weren’t left to live life here floundering, but so that we would see the truth and live life by it…God’s purpose in giving us His word is to expose the Enemy of our hearts, his schemes, his bent on destroying our view of God and ruining our God-ordained relationship. God is in the middle of it because He is everywhere. It doesn’t mean He likes it. God never leaves us…never. I found God in the middle of our pain. In the middle of what was the darkest time of our lives, God was there, with us, with Noah, and the reason I know He was there is because, after kicking and screaming, I opened my heart to see that we live in a fallen world, but one that God did not forsake. I found Him, right where He said He would be, never wavering, but knowing exactly what to expect given that He had experienced it all on the cross Himself…for me…for Noah…for you…
That’s where my hope sets in. What truly should be defined as my lowest valley, as I look back on it, and as I lived through it, I realize was a mountain top experience. God was there. I sought Him and found Him…and He never left. Of course He hates that even the possibility of pain in our lives is a potential reality. He knows the affairs of His enemy…He knows. But He provides through it, knowing that life on this earth will indeed present the pain. And knowing there is so much more. And what satan intended as a full-on assault on our lives, not our physical bodies but our lives as whole people, fell on soil that, for satan’s plantings, was not fertile. Not for his use or deathly intentions. He received no glory…though he does in other assaults around the globe, on our blocks, in our churches, schools, grocery stores, every day. He receives the glory because people have a skewed view of God because of, dare I say, religion. A false representation of the intimacy God desires to have with man through Christ. Jacked up thinking. God equals Santa Claus. “God, I want this, this and this…now…and if You don’t do it my way, hit the highway.” Exactly what the devil wants us to harbor in our hearts.
I have said it before and will say it again, I don’t need to defend God. He’s a big boy. He obviously can handle Himself. What my intentions are is to introduce people to God the way I see in His word that He desires to be known. He is good. He is gracious. He forgives us…even those we don’t feel deserve it…that’s why He’s God…He sees a bigger picture, one of which He is the Artist, and it is magnificent and beyond description, and we have yet to see it. He thinks differently than we do, and it is more wonderful than we can comprehend, and we have yet to conceive it. He loves you exactly the way you are because He made you, designed you, and smiles every time He thinks of you. He desires to be known and is ecstatic at the prospect of you letting yourself be known to Him. And, He wants to be found ‘in all this’ because running from Him or turning our backs on Him ‘in all this’ is a lonely place, and He understands…there is nothing that was not nailed to the cross that day…nothing.
So, rather than running from Him, it’s in the center of ‘all this’ that you will find Him, and it’s there you will find His peace…shalom…nothing missing, nothing broken.
Beautifully written. Thank You Ade. Bless You x
Thanks so much for writing this. A friend recently lost her husband and those of us around her, her friends and family, have really struggled with the WHY? Fleur doesn’t, she doesn’t ask why — she stands in the middle of it all, confident that Andre is by our Father, and that God will not desert her in this time. So your words are more relevant to those of us close to her, it’s something I really needed to read today!
So many times I’ve thought about taking your link out of my favorites — as a mother of young children I really struggle to keep my computer time down and my list of favorites short and overseeable. But I’ve followed Noah’s story almost from the beginning and I like checking in every now and then.
God is using you to reach a lot of people, Adrienne — I’m so glad you’ve kept writing!
Beautifully said. And a great encouragement. Thanks!
awesome and powerful post. My fave yet. God bless
What my intentions are is to introduce people to God the way I see in His word that He desires to be known.
This is why I read your blog. I am not where you are and I don’t see what you see. I’m not even sure I agree with you most of the time (for my own reasons). But you share yourself and your vision of God so beautifully that I feel compelled to continue to read. Thank you for sharing.
I don’t know you altough I feel like I do as I have been following your blog at least every couple of weeks for about a year now. Here, on the other side of the computer, I have cried and prayed for you and your family, read your struggles and felt your pain. Though I don’t know exactly what it’s like to be in the dark places you and your family have been, I do know that because you have chosen to share your life and the life of your precious little boy, GOD HAS BEEN GLORIFIED! You have an amazing gift to put words on paper (computer screen) in such a way that people can read, feel your vulnerability and transparency, yet see you remaining faithful to God in all of this. Do you know what an incredible testimony that is? To be in love with the God who made you, who made Noah, and to, although you have wrestled, come out VICTORIOUS and still faithful on the other side? Keep posting, keep being real, keep loving Jesus the way you do because HE is using YOU and YOUR story in ways you will never know…thank you for encouraging me, just by sharing. Much love.
Thank you, I really needed the reminder that God is right there in the middle of everything.
Thanks for the reminder. It really hit home for me…I had a miscarriage back in March and haven’t been able to get pregnant again…It’s easy to get caught up in the WHY’s and wondering what I did to deserve this. But I know in my heart that I didn’t DO anything and that God is working in me through this experience.
Thank you for this, I haven’t left a comment here since just after Noah went to be with the Lord but I have been a faithful reader. You inpire me and this post was just what I need right now. I am at a place where I just can’t understand what is going on in my life right, but still I know God will lead me and my family through. This post came at such a great time.
I am in awe of your words today. It is a question I ask alot and I know others do too. I know He is there, I know he sees our pain and hates that we go through it. I know He’ll pick me up on the other side. But so many don’t. So many don’t understand and can’t comprehend.
I hope you don’t mind, but in my blog, I posted a link to yours today as I thought this message was well worded and needed to be seen by others.
Thanks for your insight and your courage.
I saw a film just this week where a man said of the phrase, ‘Why did God allow this?’ – “When I walk with my daughter and she falls over and hurts her knee did I allow her to do it? No but I was there to pick her up, nurse her hurts and care for her as only a father can.”
How I love that reply!
This was a brilliantly written post. God was glorified through your words. Thank you for writing them.
I went to the first night of the “Deeper Still” women’s conference last night, and Priscilla Shirer spoke about Exodus 19. She went through it in a way I had missed before. As God took the Israelites completly out of the way to reach the promised land, they ended up at Mount Sinai and “camped in the wilderness”. It was here that God prepared them to hear (ver 9) and see (ver 11) Him. In our humanness, we want to bypass the “wilderness”, we certainly don’t want to camp there. And if we do end up there, we want to keep our bags packed and be ready to run as soon as we possibly can. But the Israelites gave us such a beautiful model…they camped there. They pitched their tents. They hunkered down and got ready to hear and see God. “In this world, you will have trouble” (John 16:33), but thanks be to God that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28). That doesn’t mean all things are good, but He is there, He is sovereign, He will walk through the desert with you, and He will bring good from it.
Thank you for this post, Adrienne…