Where Is God When I Need Him?
It seems like every time we are in need, God disappears. It's as if He's not even there sometimes. When we have great spiritual moments at church, it's awesome. God moves in amazing ways, but where is He when I'm in my valleys, in my low spots in life?
No matter what you are going through, Scripture teaches us that God is with us. What we feel though, is that He's not. So what's the deal? Our feelings have a habit of confusing us into believing lies. This is why we can't base our lives solely on our emotions, especially in moments of difficulty. All we see is the problems and all we feel is the pain. But just because that's what we see and that's how we feel, doesn't really mean that's the reality. We need to learn how to recognize God's presence in the worst of situations. This may be our only way to get through.
The story of a guy named Joshua from the Bible shows us this exact scenario. As the army front moved forward, Joshua looked up, and there was a man with his sword drawn. He went towards him. I could imagine the intensity of the situation. The city of Jericho before him, the people he had been entrusted by God behind him, and warfare about to start. He takes a step forward, his hands probably sweating from the heat of the desert and just intensified by his nerves. Then he asks the man who has his sword drawn, “Who’s side are you on?” Waiting for a response, his head probably rushed with all sorts of thoughts but most importantly how he would react to this man’s response. The man says, “I am the commander of the army of the LORD.”
Silence. Mental chaos. Panic. These are all words that describe how we might react to this or may be reacting to something right now.
I wouldn’t know how to respond. No wonder Joshua fell to his face and began to worship. Seems appropriate to me! Somehow Joshua manages to build the courage to ask what he should do. The man says, “Take off your shoes. The place you’re standing is holy.” Scripture says, “And Joshua did so.” Of course he did! Who wouldn’t?!
Certain experiences have a way of changing a person.
What if we could turn away from panic and look towards peace?
Some of your most amazing experiences in life are the ones when you have encountered Jesus. There’s no question about it. When we have those experiences, life change happens. This is what we view as peace. But peace can be found in the midst of absolute chaos.
Take a moment to recall the scenario Joshua was placed in. The enemy lines is ahead and his people are behind him. I’ve never lead a nation before, but I’d imagine this would be some stressful times! A loop is thrown in, a complete and total distraction. What a convenient time for the commander of the Creator of the universes’ armies to show up! Fear is gone. Stress is relieved. The man says, “take off your shoes and stay a while”. Soak it in. Come closer.
Joshua found peace.
At first, Joshua didn’t recognize the presence of God in the midst of chaos. As much as I would bet, we fail to recognize the presence of God where we are right now. You could be reading this from anywhere, whether you’re at a coffee shop, laying in bed, on your break at work, or not paying attention in class. Maybe your “place” isn’t physical, it’s a place you’re at in life. You’re stressed, afraid, depressed, etc. Whatever your scenario is I know that we’re all a someone and God is present in that somewhere.