FIRST-PERSON: Where in the world is God?
NASHVILLE (BP) -- One of the most often asked questions today is, "Where in the world is God?"
With horrible tragedies ringing in our minds such as school, workplace, event and, most recently, church massacres, we are sometimes prone to ask this very same question.
We would have no problem if we did not believe in a loving, merciful God who acts with power in the world. But we do believe in such a God and are often struck with questions when we see the evil and sorrow in this world.
In times of deep sorrow and trouble, I often turn to Psalm 42 -- a song of anguish. The psalmist's pain is deep yet can help to give us answers and assurance in our times of greatest grief. Here are some ways that can help us determine where God is during our times of trouble:
Pray for a memory of divine thirst (vs. 1-4).
The psalmist turns to God, the one whom he counts as an absolute necessity. Just as these bodies of ours are not self-sustaining, so it is with our souls.
Whether we thirst consciously or unconsciously, vaguely or intensely, God has planted a hunger and thirst for Himself within every human heart. If you sometimes wonder where God is, I believe you need to pray with the psalmist that God will help you recall the thirst and the hunger that resides within you. Remember, God is the only one who can truly answer your questions and meet the needs of your heart.
Ask yourself tough questions (vs. 5-8).
After his moment with God, the psalmist's question of "Where are you God?" turned to "Why am I so downcast, even when I know where help is?"
This is a question that many of us have asked over the years. Why do we allow ourselves to be influenced by the circumstances of our lives when the very core of our heart tells us where the truth of peace is found? We spend enormous amounts of time and energy trying to change the circumstances of our lives, but we usually simply shift problems or substitute difficulties. It is time to ask honest questions about why we are the way we are and seek answers from the only place answers will be found.
Hear God's answer (vs. 8-11).
Our God is not far away but is infinitely near. We do not have to wait for tomorrow to find Him because He is ready to meet our needs now. Nobody can rob us of our finding Him, but ourselves. Will we take Him seriously and live, or will we go on our way feeling that His promise is too good to be true?
In times of deep anguish and sorrow like this past week, we often wonder where God is. Then we meet God in personal experience and know that He is there.
Do not let the circumstances of life destroy the clear picture of who He is, where He is and how to find Him. When confronted with the evil and sorrow of this world, open your heart to Christ and find that only He can satisfy your longing and weary soul.