God’s not angry, apathetic or absent. It’s the theme of one of Andy Stanley’s services and it really hit home recently.
Three times in the last week I have been in conversations with people that have emotionally asked “Where is God?” I was so quiet on the other end of the line that they inquired if I was still there. I was, but I was so deep in thought that for one of those rare moments I had nothing to reply. I thought about giving them some cliché answer or feel-good comeback but they were struggling, deeply hurting and that wasn’t going to help. They were looking for real answers.
I thought about the story in 1 Kings Chapter 19 when God revealed himself to the prophet Elijah.
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
I remembered that often times we (I) look for our Heavenly Father in a big way and He is actually with us all the time but sometimes in a whisper.
One of my callers voice broke as he asked; “Doesn’t He see that I am hurting, doesn’t He care what I am going through?” I reassured him that God is not absent – He has promised to be with us all of the time; that He is not apathetic – he does care. My other caller choked up confessing; “I am so lost right now. I don’t know what to do in my career, I’m not financially where I want to be at this stage in my life, I am single – I’ve prayed and asked for guidance with no answer – I just feel like a loser.”
I recalled a moment that I had where God spoke to me; I journal these moments so that I can re-visit and reflect on them later. From my personal journal:
Today was as ordinary as any other day. I came home early from work and wanted to capitalize on the girls being out of town and get the yard mowed before the weekend. I got on the phone with the girls and the next thing I knew I was hungry and the sun was going down – all the excuse I needed to put off my yard duties; like I said it was an ordinary day. I took the moment to pray for my soul mate, for our daughters, for some of the men in my men’s groups and the people on my prayer list. I ate and soon I was so comfortable lying on the floor that I was asleep.
Suddenly but ever so gently a voice spoke to me – “I have promised I will restore your relationship and I will.” There was a pause and then I heard “Do you love me?” The human mind and our pitiful words can’t explain the voice that was calling me. “Yes, Heavenly Father;” I replied almost desperately and without a spoken word. Again, the voice asked, “But do you really love me?” “Of course I do,” I replied silently with an overwhelming feeling of ‘why would you ask that’ or ‘can’t you tell’. At that moment in my lucidity, 1Corinthians 13:4 started reciting itself in my mind: 4 Love is patient…….. and then the tears flowed and I gained full consciousness. I am not loving God because I’m not being patient.
Too many times I feel like God is absent – that he won’t show up, that He is angry – that I am being punished for my sins, or that He is apathetic – that I made my proverbial bed and now I have to lie in it and He’s not going to rescue me. All of these feelings come for me because I am not being patient; because not only is He with me and I trust that, and He loves me and I believe that but He also has perfect timing and I am just too impatient. I need to do a better job of being patient, of trusting and loving our Heavenly Father and it won’t be so hard to find Him.
- God’s not angry
- God’s not apathetic
- God’s not absent
But don’t take my word for it; here are a couple of promises directly from The Word.
Sometimes He is in the whisper and we need to be patient.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God…..” Psalms 46:10
He loves you and promised that He will never leave you.
6″ Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
He cares about you and will take care of you.
26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26
Be encouraged and reach out to Him by reading the Holy Bible and praying. Know that you are not alone and if you need a prayer warrior don’t hesitate to let me know. In it with you, Steve@DoMarriage.com
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Thank you and God bless you on your journey.
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