For When You Can’t See God

Where are You, God?

My old self was too afraid to ask such a question. I thought it disrespectful, yet I know I thought it a bi-zillion times…and like God didn’t know that! Whether it’s in getting older, experiencing pain and suffering, or just life, I’m asking God this question out loud now.

Where are You, God? 

I have asked this question more in the few short months of 2014 than maybe the past few years combined.

My son was treated wrongfully at school and he continued to remain loyal and brave. The system was slow to respond. Where are You, God?

Our adoption came to a halt as we were denied the next step in our process. Though we are appealing, it’s been over 120 days of silence. Where are You, God?

I intercede, invest, and invite in my circle of influence, but receive fear and rejection. Where are You, God?

I fast. That should work.

I beg for prayer from all my friends, family, and anyone who thinks they know me.  Surely a multitude will get His attention.

I run the rhythm of my praise music on the elliptical machine. I envision running across the waters to shake things up on the other side of the world. Maybe God just needs to see determination.

I write in my prayer journal. I hover over the Scriptures longer. I peruse over adoption timelines and parenting techniques and leadership books. Surely I’ll find Him there.

I let the tears saturate my pillow as the house is quiet at night and my body starts to relax. I’m tired. I have to rest. I can’t keep going. I’m exhausted from trying to figure God out.

I can process out loud with the best of the female race. I’m open to telling you how hard and difficult the adoption road has been. You text me that your kids need prayer in school? I’m taking that to God immediately. I’m beginning to think my full-time job is just that – prayer-er. I don’t bottle it all up inside. My heart is out there each time I blog and I try to be as transparent before my church family and neighbors.

But the soul is made for only One. And it’s in my soul where the cry comes from. Where are You, God? A nearby wise pastor wrote it well:

“In the dark night, my prayers feel like they reach no higher than the ceiling.” (Although, Dallas [Willard] often said, “if we truly understand how radically present God is in our world, reaching the ceiling is more than high enough.) In the dark night, the Bible I read turns to ashes. In the dark night, words and books and songs that once spoke to my soul now leave me cold.” {Soul Keeping, John Ortberg, Zondervan 2014}

Ortberg goes on to write in this powerful book that “in the dark night the soul is pained but not hopeless.”

When we wonder about God’s whereabouts, stay in the wonder and wait. I’m not the first to attest that He is mysteriously present. {…Though I’d do anything to touch Him.}

Cling to Psalm 73:28. 

“But as for me, the nearness of God is my good. I have made the Lord God my refuge and I will tell of all His great works.” 

Keep seeking God, friend. Though He seems distant, don’t buy that lie. He is more present than ever.

Questions and darkness are painful. Remember your situation is not hopeless. The God who made you has had a plan all along. And it’s a good one.

Process out loud with a friend – it’s therapeutic. Yet the soul was made to commune with God. Cast those questions, hurts, anxieties, and tears to Him for He cares for you like no other.

Published October 24, 2014