When God Seems Far Away

questionWhy me? Why this? Do you ever wonder why? Do you feel guilty for even daring to ask? I have. I’ve had times when the loss was so great in my life that I cried, not upon my pillow in a quiet voice in the silence of my darkened bedroom. No. I’ve screamed it with all the angst and heartache and brokenness my voice could muster in the public streets for all the world to see. At times, my why was resolved with the still small voice of God and a touch of warmth from the Comforter pouring Himself out upon me. Other times, I’ve felt alone, abandoned.

The psalmist did the same. Prophets have cried out. Kings. Our Lord cried out on the cross.

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; and in the night season, and am not silent. BUT You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.” Psalm 22:1-3. [caps and emphasis mine]

It’s odd that we, who think our God does not hear us in the darkness of our nights and the bright light of our grief and pain, continue to cry out. If it were so futile, if God was so deaf, if God was so far away, why would we bother? Because deep in the recesses of our tribulation, emptiness and agony, we know that God is God and God is steadfast and sure. We may question our circumstances, our losses, our trials–but we know that ultimately our answers are in God. And we cry out in search of them. We may not feel our God hears, but all scripture denounces that lie of Satan. We may not think God is present, but Jesus, our King, says differently. “Lo, I am with you always, even to the ends of the world.”

With every “why” I’ve ever voiced, my God’s assurance has answered. With every darkness I’ve ever encountered, God pierces with Light and gives me faith to dispel the doubts of my human fraility. So when you wonder why, remember we may never know all the answers. We have the Answer–Jesus is Lord of all and has overcome the world.

SelahV Today, hariette petersen, 2008]