‘God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” ‘ Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)
If you are anything like me, you have made this statement before, ‘Where are you, God? Why are you letting me go through this?’ When we face the storms of life, it is a natural reaction of our flesh to question Him. After all, He is supposed to always be right by our side. So why, oh why, does He allow us to feel so terribly alone?
As a parent, I do everything and anything I can to spare my children pain, disappointment, hurt feelings. I have never been able to watch my children suffer. Now that I have grandchildren, I feel the same way about them. But there are times when we should stand back, and not protect them. It hurts, it feels foreign, but there are times that a bit of suffering brings much good.
How will we learn life lessons if we never face life itself? God wants to teach us. It is His plan that as we journey through this life here on earth, we will experience good, and we will also know much bad. But if we are never exposed to the storms, we will not learn how to react to them, how to move through them, or how to benefit from them. This is what we want for our children, and what God wants for His children.
When God makes us promises, He keeps them. When we say he is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, that indicates His faithfulness to keep any and all promises He makes to us. When He promised to never leave us, and that He would never forsake us, He meant it. He is with us, no matter how we feel, or if we can sense His presence or not. He is there in the midst of the storm.
A friend of mine lost her son in Afghanistan. He was on his first tour, and he did not come home alive. My two sons were there two times each. Both came home each time. She had prayed for my sons. I prayed for hers. Why did it happen? We do not know. But when she asked me where God was, I told her He was there. In the midst of the horror and terror, in the hearts and souls of those who were fighting for, and lost, their lives, God was there. He was on that battlefield with them; they were never alone.
‘Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’ Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)
One of the greatest gifts God has given us is the gift of prayer. He longs for a personal relationship with each of His children. When we approach His throne with confidence, even if we have a tinge of fear or nervousness, He is there to welcome us with His arms wide open. When we share our fears, our disappointments, our trials and difficulties with Him, He is already working on our behalf. That does not mean He is going to ‘fix’ everything; it simply means He cares, and He will turn what is meant for evil and show it for good. He will give us His strength when we trust Him with our worries. And through all we experience in those times, we will discover life lessons that will last beyond this life, and on into eternity. He is Our Hope, and He will indeed never leave us or forsake us.
‘The LORD gives strength to His people; the LORD blesses His people with peace.’ Psalm 29:11 (NIV)