The Backdrop:Where is God?
You may have found yourself asking that question lately. As this devo is being written, the events of Sandy Brook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., are less than a week old. Of course, you're not alone asking that question, and this isn't the first time it's been asked.The What:
In fact, the question, "Where is God?" is asked in the Bible several times, several ways. Below are a few of those instances. After you read each background, read the verses from your Bible and write down the question that was asked about God in the passage.The Word:
Quick background: God's people, the children of Israel, had just crossed the Red Sea a few weeks earlier and were camping in an area where there was no water to drink.Exodus 17:2-3
; 6-7Quick background:
It's been said that while the Bible is God's book to us, the psalms comprise our book to God. This is why you'll find such honest and heart-wrenching questions in the Book of Psalms.Psalm 10:1Quick background:
This is one of the most famous "Where is God?" verses. It was written first by David, then quoted by Jesus on the cross.Psalm 22:1-2
)Quick background: Psalm 88
was written by someone who was, quite simply, in pretty bad shape.Psalm 88:13-15The So What:
As you can see, God can handle it when we wonder where He might be hiding. His people have been questioning His presence since ancient days. The fact that God made sure to record those questions and have them available to us in His Word lets us know He wanted us to see those questions. This gives us a little insight: God knows things are going to happen that will cause us to question His presence; and it's OK to ask where He is.
However, it doesn't stop there. In other passages in the Bible, God tells us where He is. Read these passages and jot down anything you learn about the relationship between God and hard times.Psalm 34:18Psalm 119:151Psalm 145:18John 11:33
, 35John 14:16Matthew 28:20John 16:33Seal the Deal:
We're never told in Scripture to expect an easy life. In fact, we're told quite the opposite. So when bad things happen, it's OK to ask God "Why?" and to question whether He is near. The truth is: God is near. His Spirit is here. Jesus is with us. As you saw in John 11, Jesus is crying right alongside us.
Take a couple minutes to write your thoughts about loss and pain based on the Scripture you just read. Pray about how your mind and heart can adopt biblical guidelines to navigate the hard times when they come.