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Where are you, God? - November 10, 2022

Thoughts from Matt Landis.

Where are you, God?

“Why God?!” “Show Yourself!” “Where are you, God?” 


Have you ever thought this, or said any of these out loud, or just screamed these into the air? 


I have. And I’ve done it in the most defiant way, challenging the creator of the universe to listen to me in times of trial and sadness and confusion. And in that instant what I really want is this burning bush moment – for God to stop me in my tracks and miraculously appear and improve my situation. But it doesn’t work like that does it? God rarely appeared to anyone in scripture in order to make their problems go away. In fact, quite the opposite – He uses those moments to call into action His plan for something greater. Moses in the desert, Joseph visited by an angel, Saul on the road to Damascus. Each time God shows Himself to them not to make their troubles disappear but to acknowledge suffering and provide a path forward for them to play a key role in fulfilling His purpose. 


And yet, there is a way to feel God’s presence and that is through the Holy Spirit, which lives in us day in and day out. God knows that we live in a broken world, full of sin and pain and heartache. So He provided to us a portion of Himself to fill us when we are empty, to remind us of His grace and glory when hope is lost. 


When my uncle killed himself one Monday morning several years ago, my family was gathered together, burning with grief. The pain of that morning was unbearable. And in the midst of that cruel sadness, one of my family members stopped and said, “What a savior we serve. That He would be here with us even now.” God didn’t come down and resurrect my uncle. He didn’t appear suddenly and swoop in and remove all the hurt. But the small voice of the Holy Spirit spoke up through my family and reminded us that He was there with us, grieving alongside us. And ultimately the victory He achieved over death and sin is far, far greater than the pain we felt that day. 


God doesn’t rescue us from struggle. God didn’t make Moses’s life easier that day in the desert. He didn’t relieve Joseph of his engagement to Mary, and certainly didn’t put Saul on the road to easy street. But He can rescue you from the pain and anxiety and despair that accompany your circumstances. On Sunday, Pastor Lindsey said, “If we fully understand the depth of the problem, we can fully understand the glory of the grace and mercy offered to us.” We are sinners living in a sinful world. And just as radically as sin entered the world, Christ radically gave us the opportunity to turn directly to Him. And when we do, we don’t have to ask, “Where are you God?” but confidently say “Here I am Lord, use me”. 

Matt Landis