I grabbed a fresh cup of coffee, it’s hefty aroma calling to me from an ocean of deep thoughts. The question, Where is God when life is hard? tormented me. I couldn’t find peace.
Where Are You, God?
Settling onto the porch swing, I tried to relax in the presence of the tall, graceful day-lilies swaying rhythmically in the breeze.
My spirit was exhausted from waging battle against life. Where are You, God, when life is hard?
My mind quarreled with the faithfulness of God; My spirit reminded me of my blessings.
My Bible shouted out reminders of God’s promises; My weary soul struggled desperately to walk in that reality.
“Lord, forgive me for being so frustrated. I feel angry that life has to be so hard! I miss the joy of my salvation.” I pouted as I slung accusation after accusation at my Heavenly Father.
Then my tirade ended and I took another sip of coffee.
Enter a Squirrel
A flash of gray raced past the porch and leaped onto the base of the wrought-iron pole standing in the midst of my begonias. There, a bird feeder hung its temptation about four feet off the ground, secured by the hook shape at the end of the pole.
Catching his breath, a young squirrel glanced in my direction. Excitement was written all over his face.
Four tiny paws gripped the slender pole. His furry tail twitched uncontrollably with happiness. With sheer determination the squirrel inched his way upward towards his prize. When he got parallel to the feeder he S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D across to the perch so he could dig into the morsels of goodness.
Watching his can-do attitude was funny enough, but then the wind began to blow.
Blowing wind begets spinning birdfeeders.
Spinning bird feeders beget spinning squirrels.
I realized the squirrel had a choice to make: either let go of his prize, fall to the ground and start over OR grab hold with all fours and hang on with all his might until the wind passed by.
He chose the prize.
The squirrel’s back paws swung over to the base of the bird feeder. Hanging upside down, he held on with all fours as though his life depended on it. His little body spun and twirled, eyes wild with excitement. A bushy, gray tail twitched in cadence to the swinging feeder.
There was no way this little guy was letting go of his prize. And no wind or difficulty was going to get in his way, either. He simply held on tight, kept his eyes on the prize and waited for things to calm down.
Then, very matter-of-factly, he S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D his back paws across the great divide until he reached the pole again, gripped it tightly and resumed indulging himself with those delectable morsels of goodness.
The Answer to My Question: Where is God When Life is Hard?
I knew this was a God-moment.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it” ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24
Swinging back and forth, I pondered the lesson the Lord was showing me.
In a race, only one person can win the prize. God wants us to run in such a way that we win.
I want to win the prize of the high calling of Jesus Christ. I want to rest in His presence, walk in His provision, and enjoy the blessings of being His child.
Like the squirrel, I want every little morsel of goodness I can grab, no matter how difficult.
Even though for a season, I feel like I’m spinning upside-down, holding onto God’s promises with all fours, I know that if I can just persevere and keep my eyes on the prize, the wind will calm down, the spinning cease and I can indulge myself once again with the goodness of God.
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,