Where Was God?

never_leave_you_or_forsake_youJen’s Gem:  Things are not always as they appear. Be open to looking at things differently.

Many years ago, I read “The Shack” by William P. Young. I’ve no idea how I fell upon this book but I was fascinated by it. When I heard that a movie was being made about it, I couldn’t wait to see it. Sadly, I missed its big screen debut but thanks to movies on demand, I watched it yesterday.

If you’re unfamiliar with the movie, it is based upon a father’s encounter with God (all three persons – Father, Son, Holy Spirit) after his daughter is killed. I don’t want to give it away but suffice it to say, there was a transformation in this man that impacted his family, friends and community.
His misshapen beliefs were challenged. His paltry faith was tested. His eyes were opened. His broken heart was healed.
Understandably, this man was angry at God for taking his baby girl. An innocent child gone too soon through no fault of her own leaving a family devastated and struggling to comprehend. Why didn’t God stop it? Or more importantly, why didn’t He prevent it in the first place? Didn’t He love that child? Why did He abandon her when she most needed Him?

Why God? Why?

These are no different than some of the questions many people are asking in these turbulent times.

Where was God at the Manchester concert?
Where was God on that train in Portland?
Where was God on the streets of New York City?
Where was God when a family member died unexpectedly?
Where was God when a mom was diagnosed with cancer?
Where was God….?

My faith says that God is everywhere. He is always with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will be with us until the end of time. But one has to wonder how come He doesn’t show up when we face tragedy and loss. How come He doesn’t swoop in and jam the trigger on a gun before it’s shot? How come He doesn’t miraculously shrink that cancer tumor after fervent prayer? How come He doesn’t stop that speeding car before it hits anyone?
If it’s meant to be, then we may find out some of these answers in the future. God has a habit of revealing His plan backwards. We see in 20/20 hindsight why certain things had to happen. Perhaps the woman who lost a child to drug addiction goes on to start a charity to teach drug prevention. Maybe cures are found for diseases when a loved one is lost. Maybe a person’s heart is changed as they forgive those who have hurt them. Maybe someone’s faith is strengthened.


 I don’t claim to know the why’s of God’s plans. And I can’t say for sure that tragedies will all result in future good. They may very well not. But here’s what I do know for sure.
God loves us beyond measure or comprehension. Whatever happens to us or in the world is meant for good – either right away or at some point. All we need to do is trust that this is true. Trust that God is good. Trust that He has a miraculous plan for our lives.
I can’t recommend this movie enough if you are struggling with your faith in God, if you doubt that He loves you unconditionally, if you question His motives or if you struggle with forgiveness. While you may not have the same reaction as I did, I encourage you to keep an open mind – more importantly an open heart. He will speak to you as each scene unfolds. Even though you may not relate to the specific circumstances this man experienced, you may relate to his interpretation of God and his feelings about all that happened.
When all is said and done, this man’s life was forever changed because of his newly-discovered relationship with God. When he forgave the man who murdered his child and when he forgave his own father for his actions. Seeing people and God through another pair of eyes, opened his own eyes to the truth, the “why” of things.
I pray your eyes will be opened to see the challenges in your life a bit differently. I pray that you can put yourself in another’s shoes. I pray that you can for a brief moment, get a glimpse of the enormity of God’s love for you.
If you can do this, then you will know exactly where God is.

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