Where are you God? … Have you ever asked this question? I know I have … and recently I have witnessed too many dear friends asking the very same question due to their daily struggles with Depression, Divorce, a Loved one’s Addiction, a Life Altering Disease, Death of a Loved One, and the list goes on … but to put it bluntly … Life … because as we all know Life can be really, really hard sometimes.
Knowing that pain myself of the question “Where are you God?” and longing for an answer when it is needed most is why I felt moved to write this today.
I have had a beautifully blessed life so far in the 42 years I have been alive, but like everyone in this world life has its ups and downs. The biggest struggle in my life has been that since I was 6 years old my Father has had a chronic illness called Hydrocephalus. He has been in severe pain the majority of my life and as the result of his condition has just recently had his 94th surgery. Chronic illness is a very hard thing to live with on a daily basis, it’s most difficult for the person with the illness obviously and it is also difficult for the families loving and supporting the person through it all.
Throughout the last 35 or so years I have spent many days with my father in the hospital struggling for his life, every day of his life he is in severe pain, it is a very hard thing to watch and it leaves you feeling helpless and at some points questioning … “Where are you God?” … Even at times feeling really, really, mad at God. But you know what I realized … that’s ok … God understands … and he will not leave you no matter how pissed off you are at Him. After many years of questioning Him where He is when things get hard … I finally learned the answer.
His arms around me
Over the years dealing with my Father’s illness as I look back there have been a few pivotal moments in my life that I can say when I asked this question God answered me instantly without any ounce of doubt in my mind.
The first one that my mind always goes back to is when I was about 22 years old, my Dad had been in the hospital for several weeks and he was in the ICU, he was in extreme pain, the kind of pain that heavy meds weren’t even touching, he had been calling out to Jesus for hours over and over again … in the words of “Help me Jesus, please Help me Jesus”. As a young girl who loved her Dad more than anything in the world it was heart wrenching to watch, I felt so helpless. I remember thinking to myself how amazed I was at my Father’ s Faith … to be in so much pain for so long with no relief and to still call out to God with Love and Trust. I was in awe of his unwaivering Faith because at the time I was really questioning God.
I remember praying “God where are you? Why are you not helping him? How can you let this go on like this??” And in those moments I felt the Lord put his arms around me and comfort me, I can remember feeling literally like HIS arms were around my shoulders right there with me, giving me a sense of peace and helping us through it. The pain did not stop for my Dad right away but it became manageable and we got through it. When I asked the Lord “Where are you?” He showed up and said “I am here and I am with you”.
Throughout my life my Faith has always been strong, as I have gone through life my personal relationship with God has grown and changed as I have changed as a person. It is a daily quest that I look forward to growing in everyday for the rest of my life and afterlife … to be close to the Lord. But I am human and life is hard … and there are things that happen to us that are unbearable and that we can’t understand and that can really rock our faith. But even when that happens God is there … we just have to look for Him, ask for Him to show up, and He will show you He is there.
3 Pastors in One Day
A couple of years ago I was in the hospital again with my Dad, he had just had another surgery … I think it was # 80 or so … to be honest there have been so many it gets hard to keep track. But the surgery had a complication so he had been in the hospital for about a month, he was really struggling and we really didn’t know if he was going to pull through.
My Faith was really getting tested and I was getting so mad … I was mad at God. My Dad had already struggled for so long, and his Faith never wavered, I wanted to know why God, why do you let this go on, why do you continue to let this man be in pain, why???
I remember being in the hallway with my mom of the ICU and saying to her “Where is HE, Where is God, I am getting so mad!” She said to me … come with me I want to show you something. We went to the Hospital Chapel and she said that morning she was also struggling with this and when she went to the chapel the bible there was opened to this verse Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
He showed us He was there … like always … we just needed to look for Him and call on him. A few moments later we walked back up to my Dad`s room and the Pastor was there waiting for us. I remember thinking to myself … wow God … you are Good … I asked where you were and you showed me instantly. That day my Dad had not just one pastor show up but 3 different pastors come to pray with us. When I asked the Lord “Where are you?” He showed up and said “I am here and I am with you”.
My sister, brother, and I all have different ways of nurturing our Faith. My brother has felt a calling to share the Lord’s Good Word as a Pastor and will soon have that dream fulfilled, I share my love of the Lord by writing and sharing his good news through my blog and Faith, Hope, and Love social media page, and my sister has been blessed with the beautiful talent of art. A few years ago she painted a beautiful watercolor titled “Do you hear me?”
When I first saw the painting all I could see was my Father‘s pain. All I could see was him calling out to God and never seeming to get the relief from his pain that he needed. But then one day I heard my sister explaining the meaning of the painting and the Bible verse she included … verse 1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
She said it is Christ (Not my Dad as I had interpreted it asking the question) in the painting saying “Do You Here Me?” with his arms open wide, there listening all the time and saying “I Am Here All The Time, I Love You, And I am Here For You, You Just need To Call On Me”.
There are some things in life that can cause unbearable pain, things that people go through that are unexplainable… and have caused unimaginable pain. There are things in my life and pain that I have gone through that I do not understand and to be honest don’t think I will ever understand. I have heard a lot of people question “If God is an all loving God … how can He allow such pain to continue in people’s lives” and in reality that is a good question.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers but I can share with you my belief and how my relationship with God carries me through pain in my life. I don’t believe God causes us pain, I don’t think he is the reason bad things happen … The God I know Is All Loving … and He does not want us to be in pain and struggle.
There are other forces in life that contribute to our pain … we have Free Will and sometimes our choices can cause us pain, other people’s choices can cause us pain, and there is also just pure evil in this world that I don’t think we can even come close to having a full understanding of that can cause us pain … but that is not God. God is what gives us the strength to get through all of that. My God is a God of Love, He is there for me at all times, He is what gives me strength to get through the hard times in life and He is the reason I celebrate the good things in life.
I may not understand why some miracles happen and some don’t, why some people are cured, and some aren’t but I don’t know that we are supposed to understand everything in life. Isn’t that what Faith means … believing in something that we can’t see or understand … but still believing.
What I do know is that the times I have questioned the Lord and said to Him “Where are you?” He showed me “I am here and I am with you”.
If you need Him just ask Him … He is there and He Loves You.
If you would like to join us in the fight against Hydrocephalus please visit this link to see how you can help!