Monday, May 7, 2012

Where is God?

Dear God,

Why do you allow us to be thrown into the furnace and lions’ den sometimes?

To let us know you are with us? Even in the fiery and trying times? To feel your presence in a way we’ve never known before? To know you are real?

Why does it have to go that far? Would we realize or appreciate your power as much if you delivered us before we were actually in the fiery furnace or lion’s den? Or is it to test our faith?

Do we love you just because of what you do for us?

Or do we love you for who you are?

Where are you? Are you waiting for our heart to cry out like Job, “Thou, he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”(Job 13:15)

Or maybe you are waiting for us to proclaim like the Hebrew boys facing the fiery furnace that you are able. You are God. You are sovereign. And even if we die, we are not lost.

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3: 17-18)

Perhaps like Daniel you want us to stand on our faith and not compromise our commitment and character to the dominant culture.

Like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane as he faced the agony and anguish of the cross, are you waiting for the words, “not my will but your will be done?”

Maybe it’s that you know that through those difficult times we experience what you have always wanted for us--an intimate fellowship with you. To trust you. To know you. To praise you. To love you. To know the fellowship of your suffering and the power of your resurrection.

Maybe our most clarifying times, the closest we ever are to you, are those wilderness, fiery furnace, lion’s den, Garden of Gethsemane times. Maybe the times we are closest to you are when we have come to the end of ourselves and everyone else.

The times when we have to say, “I don’t have it. My parents don’t have it. My friends don’t have it. There’s nowhere to go. Nothing left that I can do in my human strength.” When we are discouraged, disappointed and in despair and we turn our will to you and in faith say, “Yet, will I trust Him.”

It is those times, in the fiery furnace, when you come and walk beside us. But the truth is you were always there because you said you would never leave us nor forsake us. When and where there is no place else to turn but you. That’s where you are and exactly where you want us to be.

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