Huddled beneath the covers wishing the morning away, I recognized His sweet whisper, “I am for you, not against you. You are my child. You have not been forsaken.” I squeezed my eyes and scrunched up my face because, although I believed what the Lord was speaking to me, my reality felt very different. I wondered, Where is God when it hurts?
I Began My Quest for God That Morning
I felt alone in many ways.
I definitely felt overwhelmed. Heavy-laden. Crumpling beneath life’s burdens.
But again, the Lord said, “I am for you, not against you.”
Wiping the tears from my eyes, I sat up, rubbed my face, and looked toward heaven.
“Lord, will You please speak to me through Your Word this morning? I mean … specifically speak to me and give me strength for this journey You’ve laid out before me?”
Anticipation began to stir within me. And hope.
A few minutes later I curled up on my favorite spot by the window overlooking the grapevine. Finches and sparrows began to gather at my birdfeeders outside the window.
As I pondered the ways of God, tension oozed from my body, my mind, and my spirit. I sipped my coffee, caressing its warmth in my hands, closed my eyes and thought of Jesus.
“Speak to me, Lord. Please speak to me through Your Word.”
Setting my coffee down, I lifted my Bible from the side table and promptly allowed it to flop open. I suppose we’re all guilty of that shortcut or … maybe we should call it passive-aggressive pouting.
But thank goodness, our God is longsuffering and meets us where we are, hears our cries for help, and gives us exactly what we need. He takes the time necessary to answer our question, “Where are You God when it hurts?”
The pages of my beloved, worn Bible fell open to Nehemiah 4 which has a subtitle, “The Wall Defended Against Enemies”.
“[The enemies of God’s people] heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps [the broken places] were beginning to be closed; then they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion.
“Nevertheless, we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.” ~ Nehemiah 4:7-9
Nevertheless, God’s people countered the enemy’s attack with prayer and by setting guard against their tactics around the clock.
Isn’t this exactly what we are instructed to do when the battles become relentless? The last thing the Enemy wants is for us to rebuild our walls, restore the broken places, and repair our altars to an awesome, holy God!
When Satan sees that progress is being made and we survived the fire without being burned, and we passed through deep waters without drowning, we can be sure of the Enemy’s attack.
He will come in to work anxiety, fear, doubts, and confusion into our hearts and minds.
Our God is not a god of confusion, but a God of peace. He is our mighty God. Our Refuge. Our Victor. He is the Restorer of our broken places.
He is our Strength and our Song.
And as we remain faithful, listening for His instructions, determining to walk according to His will even when it requires sacrifice — especially when it requires sacrifice — He is honored, and His grace will be upon us.
His abiding presence will carry us through to the other side of any difficulty Satan throws our way.
Because He is for us, not against us … just as He promised.
Where is God when it hurts? He is as close as the air we breathe. We need only to open the eyes of our heart to see Him.
I closed my Bible and lifted my hands in praise — praise to the One who is faithful.
Praise to the One who loves us with an everlasting love.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I would love for you to share what’s on your heart in the comments below. Scroll a little farther down and you’ll see where you can leave your comments. Together, we can find the nearness of God in our darkest moments.
Sweet blessings to you,
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I discovered a talk with you and Michelle yesterday and it was such an encouragement. My heart has been heavy with sorrow…and God has seemed distant. Your words connected with me and gave me hope.
Oh Sue, I’m so very sorry. My heart aches for you. Please know that the Lord truly draws near to us in our pain just as He promised. Our circumstances often blind us to His presence because they can be all-consuming. I love how He pursues us in our wilderness places just as He did with Hagar. God FOUND her in the wilderness (Genesis 16) which indicates He was seeking after her to strengthen and encourage her. 2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us, “The eyes of the Lord roam to and fro across the earth seeking those who love Him who need to be encouraged.” I am adding your name to my prayer journal and will pray for you faithfully. Also, I have created an online community called The Alabaster Girls where we lend daily prayer support and Bible study to each other — women from all walks of life, all denominations. It’s a safe place to share your burdens. We’re on facebook under The Alabaster Girls. If you’re interested, check out the page and request membership. It’s a place you will be loved. Sweet blessings to you Sue, Nan