I Love You, Lord... But, Where Are You?
I know as I get through this life I have struggled and fought through mostly every day of it. I really get no rest, I get no times of peace, I really have no times of relaxation. Sure, I put up my feet and watch a movie, I play a game, but still the burden of this world is always a constant. I see the news and see tales of shootings, corruption, rapes and molestation and downright evil. I see how the weekly shows are getting bolder with more explicit sex, intense violence, foul language and moral corruptness. I see some of the corruption and money mongering at jobs and in the government and even worse within the churches. We see mudslinging between presidential candidates, which lowers any respect for the job/title, lowers our own feelings about our country and makes us a laughing stock in the eyes of other countries. We have divorce, abuse and arguments—need I go on?
I know that often people say—If God is out there, where is He? That is a very good question. It seems the better person you are the more darkness and evil you encounter in your life. I know that the closer I get to Christ; there is an evil resistance that divides me. I have a wonderful family structure and friends. I have a wonderful son. And, I have a wonderful wife. And, you would figure that everything would be copasetic. The truth is, Satan worms his way into the situation and divides me. His name literally means two wills and that is what he practices. I know that he has no power over me, except when it comes to the people I love. He keeps dividing them and causes great heartache in my life. I constantly try to pray for strength and courage. I constantly try to pray to be a better Christian, husband, father and son. I constantly am bombarded by darkness and evil. However, I keep getting up, I keep putting on my Armor of God, I keep drawing my sword and I keep on fighting the good fight. Some days I win, some days I lose—some days I just want to give up and die, and of course I keep in mind what is written: To live is Christ and to die is gain!
I know that God never promised it would be easy. He said it would be hard as hell following Him. He said that Satan would do everything in his limited power to deceive and destroy us and pull our focus away from Christ. He warned us and gave us the weapons of our spiritual warfare. He tells us in 1st Corinthians 16: We watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let everything you do be done in love. We need to watch out for the evils of this world and be aware of them. Most importantly we need to make sure our love remains strong and does not grow cold.
It is so hard to see God in the midst of all the chaos and strife. It is hard to see love in the midst of so much hatred. As for me, I still feel my God within me. Some days I have my moments of doubt, but those days are fleeting and rare. I see God within others. I try very hard to see Christ in everyone I encounter. He died for them as He did for me. And if He died for me, why should I not be willing to die for Him?
The gospel reading from the Book of Matthew describes how we Christians, true Christians are treated and it is happening today. The Lord said this parable: There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. Afterward he sent his son to them, saying: They will respect my son.' But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.' And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? They said to him, He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus said to them, Have you never read in the scriptures: The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord's doing, and it was marvelous in our eyes?
Jesus warned us of what they were going to do to us. We are being put to death and we are being punished today for being followers of Christ. Jesus was rejected and He became the Cornerstone, and we are the rest of the stones that He builds His Church on and the mortar is the blood of the martyrs. He promised that He would take care of me in every way possible—even unto my death. Death has been destroyed and now there is no fear of it—I have His word on it.
Can I really answer the question, where is God? Yes, I can. I know that He is alive in me and I can bring myself to the world. When I glorify Him, I serve Him and I love others. My prayer is that He will help me Love Him with all of my heart, all of my soul and all of my strength. I pray that I can be that light of hope for other, I pray that I can be that city on the hill that shines so bright that only Jesus, my God can be seen.