“Behold, I go forward, but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him: On the left hand, where He doth work, but I cannot behold Him: He hideth Himself on the right hand, that I cannot see Him” (Job 23:8,9)
“Where were you, Lord?” the sisters asked. “If You would have shown up earlier our brother would not have died.” “Yes,” others said, “If He healed the blind, He could have healed Lazarus.” Why, why, why didn’t He show up when He was most needed?
We wonder when those who are supposed to love us the most aren’t there when we need them the most. We try and excuse their absence: “Maybe they were busy.” “They have a lot going on right now.” But what if we knew they knew and still stayed away? David knew the pain of abandonment. “My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.” (Ps. 38:11)
When it comes to man, we can realize that there was not much they could have done anyway. But with God it is a different story. He can change any situation from bad to good. With Him nothing is impossible. So if He can work miracles for us, why doesn’t He? It is especially hard for the Lord’s friends to understand why their God doesn’t come through for them. Those who He calls “my people” call Him “my God.”
There is no greater entrance into this perplexity than Christ on the cross. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmity because He was tempted in all points even as we are. He knows what it is like to wonder where God is. He suffered for us and as us. He experienced our most painful feelings of abandonment. He cried out with a loud voice: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46)
There is nothing more traumatizing for a child than to be abandoned by a parent. Even the terror of a moment is traumatic. But the sometimes real fact that no man cares for our soul is not reality when it comes to God. He is there even when it appears He is not. Nothing can separate us from His love. Wherever we are, He is also. He may not have intervened in the way we wanted Him to, but in the end, we will understand all things, and see that His hand was at work in a wonderful way. Though hidden, He was there.
The pain of loss is great. The greatest loss for a child of God is the loss of God’s presence. We can leave Him, but He has promised to never leave us. Believe He is present with you and in your circumstance even when the thickest darkness blankets the earth you live on. Blessed are those who believe without seeing. My God You were, my God You remain – yesterday, today, and forever.