‘Where are you God?’ is one of the most common questions for people, particularly when we go through a very difficult time like covid-19 that is completely out of our control. Between loss of jobs, learning to cope with one another 24/7, suddenly becoming teachers, children being cooped up and not being allowed to play with friends, wondering how we’re going to put food on the table, the uncertainty how long this global situation will last, the insecurity about the future in general – these are unprecedented, real life changing things. How well we cope with them will particularly determine our relationships down the road. Some figures are already showing a 30% increase in divorce inquiries and/or actions.
For those who know they belong to God’s family and have that personal friendship with him, life can still become so overwhelming, like our present circumstances are, that we especially wonder where our heavenly Father is and we can’t perceive the Lord’s presence and/or his help.
I was reminded in a book by Mark Buchanan called ‘Your God is Too Safe,’ that despite my doubt ’Belief is still called for, still demanded. Seeing does not remove the necessity of belief. Seeing is not believing. We walk by faith, not by sight.’ Here again was the reminder to keep believing, keep trusting – and in God’s own good time he will either change my circumstances, or, as he often does; he changes me to help me deal with what or where I find myself. As Jesus says:
‘And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:20 NLT)
‘…For God has said,
“I will never fail you.I will never abandon you.”‘ (Hebrews 13:5b NLT)
‘Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.’ (2 Thessalonians 3:16 NLT)
For those who don’t know God, or perhaps you may be looking for some sense with such difficulty in the world, and this is challenging you to see how God might fit into this picture and your life, God says he can be found:
‘Turn to the Lord! He can still be found. Call out to God! He is near.’ (Isaiah 55:6 CEV)
‘If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.’ (Jeremiah 29:13 NLT)
People have tried in various ways to find God. Whether that means to find your own spirituality in such streams of thought that are popular to encourage you to find your own god within you, or persuade you to find your own spirituality through such avenues such as feng shui, astrology, new age teachings, reincarnation, positive thinking, eastern religions, or through many other ways of thinking that are out there. We also try to find God through nature. Nature in itself is beautiful and often peaceful; but it is an impersonal force that cannot respond back to you in personal and real ways when you’re hurting. Though a person may not realize it, it is nature’s creator that you are seeking to have the relationship with and not nature itself. God speaks to this in this quote from God’s word:
‘They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise!’ (Romans 1:25 NLT)
We have to find God in the one way He says we can, and forget our own ways and means of trying to do that. It is a simple way, but it requires a person to lay down the right to oblige themselves and instead to give the rights of their life to God. Sound scary? Sure. But when we realize the price that God paid to provide this way to him, and within that he showed the highest form of love anyone could show to you or me, why wouldn’t I want to let him have my life? Even though there is no guarantee that life won’t be as hard, or that my situation may not change the way I want to see it become – the fact that he assures me of his everlasting presence and peace as I continue to let him have my life and its problems, is enough for me to give my life to him, and he will do what seems fit because he does that all within the framework of his unconditional love for me.
You may wonder what this one way to God is. According to God’s son, Jesus, who would know God the best out of everyone, said there is only one way to find God, and that way is through him. He said this:
‘I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Jesus answered. “Without me, no one can go to the Father.’ (John 14:6 CEV)
As well, God has said: ‘Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, (Jeremiah 29:12-14 NLT)
That price that God has paid for us to find him was the highest that anyone could pay. He planned it so that his only son, Jesus, would be the one who gave his life as a sacrifice for mine, so that this one way could be provided for each one of us. He was beaten and cruelly ridiculed and murdered by being nailed to a cross and died, but then came to life again by God’s power so that my wanting to control my own life (God’s word calls this sin) and the power of death were crushed, so we could have life. God went even further because he promises that when we die, we will go to live forever with him.
‘This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.’ (John 3:16-18 The Message)
We receive his life in place of our broken life when we give it to him. When we go through such difficult times such as covid-19 and all its effects on our life, the anguish and pain we go through isn’t meaningless because it is restored by the fact that our suffering is now completely interwoven into his suffering he went through for us. Just as he has made a way for us to find him and belong to him, so will he also make a way to see you and me through this very dark time.
There are some lyrics in a song written by Don Moen that speaks to this:
‘God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way;
He works in ways we cannot see,
He will make a way for me.’ (1)
When our life is interwoven with God’s because I chose to give my life to him, he works in me so that my plans and acts fulfill his greater purposes. As I continue to bring my life in line with his and give each day and my dreams to him, life has meaning, and my purpose in life is fulfilled because of this personal relationship to God and his overwhelming love for me.
‘God is working in you. He wants your plans and your acts to fulfill his good purpose.’ (Philippians 2:13 NIRV)
‘I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.’ (Psalm 57:2 ESV)
I hope this article will help you to either ‘keep the faith,’ and realize that your God is still in charge of your circumstances even in covid-19, and that you can trust him. Or if you are someone who is looking for help and answers and wondering if God has something to do with that, that you will ‘find the faith’ by seeking God and you will open up your life and heart to him and find what your soul is looking and longing for. Relationships are the most important thing in life. When one settles their relationship with God, it makes it less anxious to deal with all our relationships, especially those within our home.
Feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any of these thoughts, and I will be happy to get back to you.
1. Source: LyricFind. Songwriters: Don Moen. God Will Make a Way lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Capitol Christian Music Group