Where is God?
#23 December 6, 2005
"Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." (Psalm 94: 17-19)
(Today's Tuesday's with Jesus is inspired by the news that my step-daughter, Chuck's daughter, Elizabeth (Lyz), who is 17 years old was diagnosed yesterday with leukemia.).
I didn't understand early yesterday afternoon why I could not write Tuesday's with Jesus. I was experiencing a total mental block...something I haven't experienced before. I have always refused to write out of my own mind and thinking and have depended on God's anointing and His words to me alone. I just couldn't write..couldn't think of an idea...no place to start. Total blank. I determined to keep listening, watching and waiting for a word from God. He graciously heard my cry and let me see and hear the things I am about to share with you.
When the rug is pulled out from under our lives, when we are blind sided by bad news, when life changes in a way that we would never choose...an all too often question that is asked is "Where is God?" This is not only a question asked by those who don't believe in God. For a fleeting moment even believers in our Lord, Jesus Christ can falter and say, "Where is God?" I am here today to tell you just where God is, because I heard Him and I saw Him!!
I saw Him in a poster made by Lyz's friends that had Bible verses written all over it.
I saw Him in the face of a father whose heart was breaking but who was trusting the Lord and leaning on His strength and was pointing those with weaker or no faith to Jesus Christ.
I felt Him in the peace that was there in the hospital room designed and arranged by Him alone.
I saw Him when hands were laid on Lyz in prayer and teenagers who are not even sure about God held hands with us and prayed because they are grasping for Something to hold on to.
I saw Him in the face of Lyz as she laughed, encouraged and comforted those who were there to comfort her.
I saw Him late last night when my 14 year old son and some of Lyz's friends were searching the Bible and IMing each other with verses of encouragement. They didn't turn to anything destructive to ease the pain they were feeling...Hallelujah! They turned to God's word!!
He is there! He is all around us. If you just listen and watch, you will see Him. He is the great I AM! He is not the I WAS or the I WILL BE. He is here now. He is an ever-present help in trouble. He is our refuge and our strength. Our rock, our fortress, our deliverer. He is our peace, because He is the Prince of Peace. He understands our suffering...He suffered so much Himself. He knows what it is like to feel pain, to be afraid, to be abandoned by His friends and rejected by His family. Hanging bloody on Calvary's Cross, He asked His Heavenly Father why He had forsaken Him. He really does understand our questions and sympathize with our weaknesses. Psalm 103:3 says that He heals all your diseases.
There is another voice that will whisper in your ear. The voice of the father of lies. Jesus said that the truth is not in him. He will tell you that all of this is hogwash. He will tell you to rant and rave and to doubt the goodness of God. He will tell you that a good God would never allow this to happen. He will tell you that God has let Lyz slip out of His hand. THE DEVIL IS A LIAR!! We do not deny the reality that this is a horrible experience. We do not deny the reality that it hurts. We can cry, we can be sad. But we cannot allow our tears and sadness to give way to depression, discouragement and hopelessness. We know the Blessed Hope! The one that says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9) The one that says, "I will never leave you or forsake you." (Joshua 1:5) Do you know that the use of the word forsake comes from the Hebrew meaning "to loosen"? God will never loosen His hold on you.
Please forgive our family if we don't act exactly as some may think we should. But we are standing on the Word of God. The goodness of God. The truth, not the lie. The solid Rock..."On Christ the solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand." We believe the truth of Jeremiah 29:11 that tells us that God has a plan for Lyz's life. We don't know the plan and we certainly don't understand the way He has chosen to get her there, but we are "Trusting in the Lord with all our hearts, leaning not on our own understanding", believing that if we "acknowledge Him in all of our ways, He will direct our paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
To believers, I ask that you pray for Lyz. My sentiments are in 2 Corinthians 1:10-11. "On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many."
To unbelievers, I urge you to accept Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life. Ask Him into your heart today. I don't know how anyone does life without Him. Believe that He died on the Cross for you and that He rose again from the grave. You can have forgiveness of your sins and abundant, eternal life with Him in Heaven. Repent of your sins, ask Him to forgive you and commit your life to loving and serving Him. Don't live another day without Jesus. One day it will be too late to accept His precious gift to you and you will be tormented forever in Hell. Your problems will not disappear, you will still not understand everything, but you will know the One who will walk through your problems with you and the One who does understand.
Lyz was asked last night by one of her friends why this is happening to her; someone who believes in God. Lyz remembered last week's "Tuesday's" and told her about the sheep whose leg the shepherd broke and how the shepherd will now carry that sheep until it is healed.
To you Lyz, Jesus says, "My precious little sheep. I love you so very much. You are so special to Me. I take great delight in you. I quiet you with my love. I rejoice over you with singing. I love you like no one else ever could. Your leg is broken right now. But that means that I am carrying you close to my heart. My arms are around you every step of the way. I will not drop you or let you go until you are healed. And because we will spend this time together, being so close, you will walk with me, and I with you, all of the days of your life."
Until next week,