“Oh, that I had someone to hear me! I sign now my defenselet the Almighty answer me; let my accuser put his indictment in writing. (Job 31:35)
I recently told someone that I do not doubt God’s existence. I have known Him for so long, seen His work in my life and the lives of others. Just like electricity, though I may not see it with my eyes, I see its effects, and know that it exists.
Yet there have been many times that I wondered when God was going to show up in a situation during a time of need and have asked, “Where are you, God?” I have feared He might be “late to the party,” that He seemed in no big hurry to arrive on the scene. And there have been times that, like Job, I would have liked some answers to the difficulties my family, my friends, and I were facing.
I wonder if those who are ill have fewer problems believing that God exists because our illnesses force us into closer contact with God. We know how much we need Him, and are less likely to ignore Him or stay away from Him. Our illnesses can draw us closer to God for His light, warmth, and protection.
The other side of that coin is though we may have fewer questions about God’s existence, we make up for it with questions about His judgment. We question His goodness, His timing, His fairness, His concern for us when we or our loved ones are suffering terrible afflictions and hardships. Like the Deists of old, we may be tempted to believe in a God who exists, yet cares nothing for His creation and creatures. But the Bible does not paint a picture of a God who is out of touch with His children.
Patience is the hardest thing in my life. I suppose that many people with illnesses struggle with patience. We want to be well and we want to be well right now. It is hard for us to understand why the God that we know exists does not come quickly to our rescue when we are suffering.
“Where are You, God?” we ask and we have a hard time seeing beyond the pain of today, the aches of this moment, to grasp what God may see as the bigger picture with eternity in mind.
We think that heaven is probably quite nice, but we could use a bit of heaven here on earth right now to relieve our suffering.
While God doesn’t always give us immediate relief, He does give us comfort, compassion, hope, and love, and such things often must suffice on this side of heaven.
I can tell you that God is here–with us. Through experience, intuition, common sense, and years of knowing Him, there is no doubt in my mind of God’s existence. I have found His words in the Bible to be true, and I relish the presence of Christ in my life. But like many of you, I have often felt frustrated with God, I have wondered if He can truly see things from my perspective. I have questioned, “Where are You, God?”
Yet, I know I must trust God’s perspective, His goodness, His faithfulness, His timing. That is the essence of faith, and it is what keeps us going when all else fails.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I know You are there, but sometimes I can become skeptical that You are really listening and I ask “Where are You, God?” Please help me notice Your voice when You speak. Amen.
About the Author
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He does not doubt God’s existence, or God’s goodness, yet He has sometimes questioned God’s punctuality.
Do you sometimes doubt God’s timing? Do you wonder if He is paying attention to your suffering? How frequently do you find yourself asking, “Where are You, God?”
“Lead Me, Guide Me” has lyrics we can all relate to. I recall listening to this version growing up, as my mom played the gospel songs by Elvis. -Lisa