You There?

Where is God when bad things happen? He’s on His throne.

This was hammered into me at a certain summer camp I went to as a teenager. In fact, it was the theme of the week, and we wore the slogan on our camp t-shirts. I actually had a great time there, but I don’t remember leaving those summer days of fun and sun with it settled in my mind. Really, if God was there, then why didn’t I feel different? In fact, I’m pretty sure I thought something more like this: Sure. This all powerful God is hanging out upstairs while I am in the midst of my own “bad things” happening at home.

It’s easy to feel like we are all alone when we are going through the tragedies of this life. We long to reach out and connect with those who might be be feeling just as devastated, scared, confused or angry as we are. We long for that, yet we don’t always push ourselves to reach out. Sometimes, it takes so much courage and… effort… to open up and tell someone. We want to find some solace and hope that someone will just get it.

This month held two funerals in two weeks’ time, talking with a stranger about her friend’s husband dying last week in a horrific accident (after he and his wife finally, finally got pregnant), hearing the pain in a friend’s voice after the anniversary of her mother’s death, and then a woman with a young family, who lost her battle with cancer. It’s unbearable sometimes, this life. I do not understand why bad things happen to good people every, single day.

But here’s what I do know. I used to think God WAS simply out there somewhere, far away from me–aloof, uncaring, and untouchable. In my 36 years, I have finally learned that He has been feeling my laughter and my pain through all my high points, the lowest of the low points and everything in between. I never felt Him because I refused to let Him close enough to me. I found that telling God exactly how I feel is cathartic, and you know what? He can handle it, all of it.

So, today the sky opened up–turned dark and windy with heavy showers, as someone special to me mourned the loss of her husband. I imagine the weather perfectly mirrored the turbulence in her heart. Maybe, just maybe that is a glimpse that He is there, and He does get it.

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