ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Life's Questions: Where was God?

Updated on December 7, 2016
Source

He will make a way....

In the song that is included with this article, the words say it all for me.

"God will make a way...when there seems to be no way..

With love and strength for each new day."

Please try to find the time to listen to those words.

“I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much.”
― Mother Teresa

Down through the ages, man has questioned God and his existence and where He was when they felt they needed Him most.

  • When the beautiful African men were torn from their homes and thrust like chattel into boats ill equipped to hold them, where was God?
  • When those African families were torn apart again as children were torn from Mothers, where was God?
  • When slavery became a profitable way of life in America, where was God?
  • On the day that the massacre occurred at Columbine High School, where was God?
  • On the day that two airliners were flown into the World Trade Center towers, where was God?
  • On the days of hurricane Katrina when so many lives were torn apart and totally devastated, where was God?
  • On the day when Abraham Lincoln, John Kennedy, Dr. M.L. King were shot, where was God?
  • On the day that smoke and fog caused the death of 11 who were traveling the roads of Florida, where was God?
  • On the day that an elementary school was more like a battleground than a safe haven for children, where was God?
  • On the day the three day old baby died due to heart complications, where was God?
  • On the night when the young husband sits up all night with his wife who has cancer that has spread throughout her entire body and she cries out in pain, where is God?

He was here....a reminder that smack dab in the middle of our most frightening times we can find calm...

MATLACHA FLORIDA
MATLACHA FLORIDA | Source
MY PRECIOUS SISTER WAS RELAXING AND ENJOYING THIS SERENITY...ONLY A FEW SHORT WEEKS LATER HER SON WOULD SUDDENLY LEAVE THE PLANET...AND BECAUSE HE WAS THERE, HER SPIRTUAL NORTH, SHE IS STRONGER AND MORE FILLED WITH ASSUARANCE TODAY.
MY PRECIOUS SISTER WAS RELAXING AND ENJOYING THIS SERENITY...ONLY A FEW SHORT WEEKS LATER HER SON WOULD SUDDENLY LEAVE THE PLANET...AND BECAUSE HE WAS THERE, HER SPIRTUAL NORTH, SHE IS STRONGER AND MORE FILLED WITH ASSUARANCE TODAY. | Source

Do you believe that questioning your beliefs means you lack faith?

See results

"Why, Lord, Why?"

Looking to the heavens cries of “ Why, Lord” can be heard? “Why? Why?”

And, the answer does not always come quickly. And for some it never comes.

And some will say--- “Where was HE? Your God?”

“How can YOUR God allow things like this to happen? How can he let the wars in all parts of the world happen?”

And, you. Have you ever thought about this question, alone, in the privacy of your own thoughts with no distraction? Have you ever questioned? If some devastating event has occurred in your life, have you ever questioned the reason and the why of what happened?

And, if you have, does that mean you are not a Christian? Does that mean you lack faith?

Or, does it mean simply mean that you are searching for answers?

He was Here When the Ashes of My Niece and Her Daddy were Scattered in Georgia a Few Days Ago

Source

He is here in this garden just as He is on the battlefields of the world

Source

Alone and afraid

There have been times in my lifetime when I have asked these same questions. I felt as if I was alone in a desert, wandering and without purpose. Confused and ashamed that I could not reconcile the God I have worshipped all of my life with things that were happening in the world.

I wanted answers. I did not want some Bible-speak either. I wanted answers that made sense to me. And there were none. Having grown up in the church and considering myself to be a Christian, these feelings, these questions were scrambling my brain and tearing me apart. I went through a period of two extremely, seemingly never-ending, wretched, horror-filled years about thirty years ago when I could no longer feel God. I read the Bible, I clung to it, in fact. But I did not feel His presence. I sent prayers to Him and again there was no connection. I did not feel the calm and peace that passes all understanding that I feel now when I converse with Him all hours of the day, every day. Where had He gone? He had absented Himself from my life just when I needed Him most.

In some infinitesimal way I have an inkling of how those who have devastating tragedy feel. What I felt was strangling me. It was the most frightened I had ever felt. I was reaching out and could no longer connect with the God in whom I had placed all of my trust.

He was here ...why can't we know that He does not desert us when the most horrible times come?

Venice Beach Florida
Venice Beach Florida | Source

Does anyone know?

"That is all well and good," some voices may say. "But, there is still no answer why."

The truth is if you are asking me, I cannot tell you why and I do not believe that anyone on this planet can tell you why.

We can say: because God gives us free will so there are those who are evil and they will have the free will to do these horrid things.

Searching for answers

When I began writing about the questions that some of us have at some point, I researched to see what theologians say on this topic. Many of them pointed to passages in the Bible: Psalms 10 and 34 speak of how He will comfort and console but I wondered as I reread those passages...Did those whose lives were devastated by a tragedy understand as the events unfolded?

In the moments and days after a horrific event happens, a numbness, a surreal quality settles over the families. They want answers, they want to know WHY?

That does not mean that they turn away from God necessarily although some do. And some stay away forever. Many though, turn and run into God's arms asking for the strength to face their hour of greatest challenge, their hour of greatest loss, their hour of greatest pain. And, He is there. And, He will carry them over the worst times as He has carried me many times even when I was not able to hear His voice.

He was here....

Source

Do you believe that questioning God is a sign of a lack of faith?

See results

What do we do now?

We do not know God's purpose. Lives are stolen causing untold grief and sorrow. And we do not understand the reason.

But we are assured that He will "cause all things to work together for those who love God..." Romans 8:28.

As long as there is evil in the world bad things will happened. But we also know that God finds a way to cause goodness to come out of evil. We see so many examples of it it the wake of devastation. When Katrina hit, the outpouring of aid and giving was a way to begin healing for the part of our country who had been so badly damaged. Neighbor helping neighbor, stranger helping stranger, across the nation so many went to help and do for others.

In the wake of this latest tragedy that has torn apart families and caused so much sadness and pain, an outpouring of generosity has washed over the small Connecticut town. So many donations of food and gifts have been given that it was suggested that no more be sent. That the donations be given to those in our own hometowns to those in need. There was no where to store them. Large donations of monies too have been received. And thousands of cards and letters are being sent to offer some degree of comfort. These efforts do not change what happened. But they do lift the spirits of those who are suffering. Out of this tragedy love and caring emerge just as it does every time horror strikes. My only wish is that these things never ever happen again.

We need to get over the questions that focus on the past and on the pain--"why did this happen to me?"--and ask instead the question which opens doors to the future: "Now that this has happened, what shall I do about it?" These questions have been posed by Rabbi Harold Kushner as he considered how we should move forth. I really get that..."What shall I do about it?" As the H.O.W. movement continues to grow and awaken the desire to make changes, make a difference, answers to that question come.

He created this and was here on the day when this photograph was taken.

Source

Why?

The Rev. Douglass Bailey was a minister who served in urban Memphis as pastor. He also helped to create urban ministries to help with the needs of the city. He has received humanitarian awards for his efforts.

Rev. Bailey tells us that the question of why has plagued mankind for all time. He says: "There are as many answers to this question as there are people who care to engage in theological dialogue. One understanding is that yes, God allows "bad" things to happen; God does not cause them to happen."

He continues: "Most "bad" things which happen do so because God gives a radical freedom to God's people; we are free people, not puppets on a string. But God does not cause "bad" things to happen. God loves us and grieves with us in our pain when "bad things" happen.

Therefore, we might best respond by saying that God does not Will "bad" things to happen in life. Rather, "bad" things happen in the freedom that comes with the gift of life. When "bad" things happen to any of God's children, God is grieved and suffers with us, experienced most vividly in the hurt and suffering of Jesus the Christ for all humanity. Any "bad" thing which happens is never the last word. Rather, God is the deepest and last word, and that word is love and eternal life with God."

It is an answer. Maybe not the one many would look for but it is an answer that makes sense. To me what he did not say is something that I believe. I believe it is by faith that we believe and know that God is in control and will see us through whatever we face. Just as Mother Teresa's words say in the opening quote...I wish He did not trust me so much." He does not give us more than we can handle. We may think we cannot but by faith we will find the courage to move forth.

He is here when two sisters are enjoying moments together.

We were having so much fun.
We were having so much fun. | Source
The cool air flowed over us this evening as we embraced the simple beauty He gives us.
The cool air flowed over us this evening as we embraced the simple beauty He gives us. | Source

Words of comfort and promise

In the readings that I came across as I sought to discover how others answer the question --Where was God? Where is God? I found one minister who gave the answer that made the most sense to me. He wrote...'I simply cannot tell you. I do not know."

He continued by adding that he does not know because he is not privy to all that God knows. He added that one day we will fully understand but we will not understand now.

In first Corinthians Chapter 13 verse 12 it is written: Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. New Living Translations

Those words may offer comfort and promise to some. They help me. For me, it is about trust and knowledge that He is here for me, for each of us. A promise that even though we are told that difficult, gut wrenching times come, He remains for us our source of strength and salvation. He never said our walk would be easy. He did promise to be here for us. Alll we need to do is reach out to Him.

Even when we go through periods of doubt and questioning, He remains the same Lord ready to catch us as we fall. And, to me, questioning means growth. If I do not question and seek to understand those things I wonder about, I feel that I do not grow. And, I know that answers will come and God will be in the midst of each answer.

Source

Still wondering

If ever I do question, I remind myself that He never absents Himself from us. It is we who for a time absent ourselves from Him and often not by choice. In my case, I did not choose to lose God for the time that I did. It happened because I was unable to reach through the circumstances I found myself in to reconnect. I am so blessed that the dark period in my life passed and my connection was restored. I know that I would not have been able to face all of the challenges that knocked on my door over the years if it were not for His presence in my life.

A way to lift my spirits and restore any questions is to walk among the beauty of nature. It helps to calm any fear and reminds me of His wondrous love. I know that I will never know and understand all that comes our way not in this lifetime But I do know that God is always ready to life me up, to lift us up, as we face life's pain and struggles.

My mind returns to these words of assurance.

Matthew 6:28-31

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? King James version

And perhaps the writer was also thinking: give no thought to how you will be soothed in times of your greatest grief and pain.

And know that He is there in the times when we may find it the most difficult to hear Him. We must be still and listen.

© 2012 Patricia Scott

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Benjamin It took me some years to get to the place I am in with my faith.

      I know He walks with us and that He allows us to live our lives with free will.

      Angels are on the way . Thanks for stopping by. ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Benjamin It took me some years to get to the place I am in with my faith.

      I know He walks with us and that He allows us to live our lives with free will.

      Angels are on the way . Thanks for stopping by. ps

    • profile image

      Benjamin Chege 4 years ago

      Hi pstraubie48. Nice and inspiring hub. Voted up, awesome and beautiful. I agree with you that people should learn to wait for the Lord. Waiting or delaying your prayers should not be interpreted as neglect by God. So inspiring. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Good morning June

      Yes, we are blessed. He is with us each step of the way. Of that, I have no doubt.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Sending Angels your way this morning :) ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Good morning June

      Yes, we are blessed. He is with us each step of the way. Of that, I have no doubt.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Sending Angels your way this morning :) ps

    • Sweet Epistles profile image

      June 4 years ago from From the Heart of God

      They say we cannot question God...but we can't help it. One thing is certain and definite, He is an all-knowing God, He is omnipotent and omnipresent. Before we even get into a situation, He is already there for us. He is There, never doubt it. He is our Savior, no matter what, our Help and Refuge in times of troubles. A faithful God even we were unfaithful at times...and so on, and Yes, He will make a way even when there seem to be no way, in ways we can't see...and whatever happens, and it won't changed the fact that He will and always do.

      Bless your heart.

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      the good news is, copywriter, that agnsotics, atheists, all of us are on this planet because of some amazing creator...I am a Christian but I do not believe that my view is the only view of this life's walk. For me, knowing that God is here for me offers me the strength that keeps me grounded and focused.

      For those who have other beliefs, including you, it is up to you and them to find their explanation for how this walk should be, who set it in motion, and why they are here.

      Like you I see that we make mistakes some colossal ones but I am ever optimistic that by reaching across belief lines and all over the other ideologies that separate us, we can make sense of this world once again.

      Thank you for stopping by...anyone who gives me reason to stop and think about what I believe is welcome in my world.

      Sending Angels to you even though you may not welcome them. :) ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Peggy

      The butterfly photo was taken at the Butterfly Garden in Gainesville. That beauty landed on the shoulder of a young girl there and she gave me permission to photograph him. I had one on my shirt that stayed with me the whole time we were in there...another reason that we know God is e v e r y w h e r e...

      Angels are surrounding us as my daughter continues to battle her latest onslaught. I just keep knowing that He walks with us every step of the way.

      Sending Angels right back to you :) ps

    • copywriter31 profile image

      James Ranka 4 years ago from Port Neches

      Like you - I have turned to the Bible for answers; received nothing.

      Like you - I've prayed to emptiness I perceived as a listening God

      Like you - I've clung to scripture as if it were the ONLY answer.

      Unlike you - I've become an agnostic. Some amazing intelligence started all of this *^%&, but this super being has left us to fend for ourselves, and we are blowing it; big time!

      I wish for you: Peace... .

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      There is probably not a person who exists (if they have lived long enough) who has not had these thoughts and questions. We will find out the answers to our questions when we pass into the next life. I did not realize that quote came from Mother Teresa. A friend whose husband is often very ill and who now has health problems of her own keeps (kiddingly) saying that to me. Excellent hub! Like you, I find much solace in nature and you captured some of it nicely with your beautiful photos. That was some butterfly photo! Many up votes and sharing. Hope that angels are surrounding you and your family.

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Good evening eipgramman....thank you for your kind words ...The thoughts that I expressed here had been hanging around in my head for a long time and finally demanded to be put down into print . I just feel so blessed to know that God is here even in the darkest times.

      Happy sixth day of this new year to you and yours...Sending Angels to you ...:) ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Good evening eipgramman....thank you for your kind words ...The thoughts that I expressed here had been hanging around in my head for a long time and finally demanded to be put down into print . I just feel so blessed to know that God is here even in the darkest times.

      Happy sixth day of this new year to you and yours...Sending Angels to you ...:) ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Good evening eipgramman....thank you for your kind words ...The thoughts that I expressed here had been hanging around in my head for a long time and finally demanded to be put down into print . I just feel so blessed to know that God is here even in the darkest times.

      Happy sixth day of this new year to you and yours...Sending Angels to you ...:) ps

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      ...well this is a pretty heavy duty hub subject and you handled it grace, dignity and aplomb and only a world class writer like yourself can tackle such an issue/question - and even though people will debate this and stll look for answers until the end of the time - your hub presentation did one thing very effectively - it made your readers stop, think , and debate.

      Hubbravo to you

      and sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 5:28pm

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Absolutely...shiningirisheyes...we just have to trust and know with Him all things really are possible. So much has happened in my life and lives of my loved ones to assure me of His steadfast love.

      Sending Angels to you and yours...:) ps

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Although I am sure we have all experienced anger and questioning toward God, He proves His determination by being there when our anger passes.

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Thank you grandmapearl for stopping by today. I wrote this as it had been asking to be written for a long time and I could not ignore the need to put into words my thoughts.

      The analogy of being like a parent is well put. Shelter us and lift us up when we stumble but not able to cushion all of our blows....

      I appreciate your votes as well.

      Sending Angels your way...and Happy third day of 2013. :) ps

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      I have often thought about this, and I agree that He is like a parent. Your parents can teach you what you need to know to live in this world, but they cannot keep bad things from happening. They can be there for you when you are hurting, and they are always with you in your heart.

      I love this article because it does such a good job of looking at this heart-wrenching question. Voted Up, Useful, Awesome and Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with all of us! I send you Peaceful Thoughts. Pearl

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Jackie

      I am just so thankful that He is always there to shelter us from whatever comes our way...even those things we do not understand. As I have said, I know I could not walk this walk without His loving assurance.

      Sending Angels to you and thank you for stopping by :) ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Jackie

      I am just so thankful that He is always there to shelter us from whatever comes our way...even those things we do not understand. As I have said, I know I could not walk this walk without His loving assurance.

      Sending Angels to you and thank you for stopping by :) ps

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      We can look around the world and find the answer really. Where God isn't; evil abounds. The more we allow Him to be pushed from our lives and America, the worse it gets, I do see that. I agree that we must run to God though and never from Him to get through the rest of this mess called life.

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hello rajan jolly

      You are so right. God is all around us. We only need to look around us to see and feel Him And we are so blessed as He is always here for us.

      Sending Angels to you, my friend...:) ps

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      I believe most of us have asked this question of themselves every time we face difficult times or situations turn ugly. I agree with the minister who said that he doesn't know where God is. But we see Him in those who reach out to the needy in difficult times. We feel His presence and love in the acts of kindness that bursts forth in the form of help and caring in such times. It could be said that God is in these very people.

      Patricia, you have rationalized this difficult and sensitive issue very well. Voting this up and sharing.

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Good afternoon Debbie

      He is everywhere we are, isn't He? In the good times and the horrible times He picks us up and helps us to move forth Praising Him for that every day. Sending Angels to you and yours. :) ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Good afternoon Debbie

      He is everywhere we are, isn't He? In the good times and the horrible times He picks us up and helps us to move forth Praising Him for that every day. Sending Angels to you and yours. :) ps

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Just recently after the Connecticut tragedy my son was pondering this same question. I had to answer "I don't know". I remember a time when I was watching the evening news and the terrible starvation was occurring in an African country. I asked myself "where is God?"

      A small baby was laying by his dead parents, assumed to also be dead. The reporter saw movement, and realized that the baby was alive. He dropped the microphone and ran to the baby, and saved it. Then I realized: There was God. God is in those who rush to save, to help, to rescue. God is in the hearts of those who donate, who sacrifice to help, who even give their lives to save people they don't even know. GOD is all around us, in us, working through us.

      Thank you for tackling such a difficult question and causing us to ponder.

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      You are so right, Mark. It is about taking another look, reevaluating maybe some of what has been thought or said, and caring more about others. Life is too short to miss out on the joy we can bring to others in their time of need whatever that need may be.

      This article has been a long time in the making and was one I had to write. It wrote itself in many ways. The words were from personal experience and are only my view of God and His presence in our lives. Sending Angels to you.....:) ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      You are so right, Mark. It is about taking another look, reevaluating maybe some of what has been thought or said, and caring more about others. Life is too short to miss out on the joy we can bring to others in their time of need whatever that need may be.

      This article has been a long time in the making and was one I had to write. It wrote itself in many ways. The words were from personal experience and are only my view of God and His presence in our lives. Sending Angels to you.....:) ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      MH....good morning...After much soul searching and many questions, I believe and know that God is in the house...My thoughts and sincere prayers are with you each day and every day. Those Angels watch over you. :) ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      MH....good morning...After much soul searching and many questions, I believe and know that God is in the house...My thoughts and sincere prayers are with you each day and every day. Those Angels watch over you. :) ps

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Looking at me now and an atheist will rejoice, "see, there is no God." But, even though I am losing the use of my body, I still believe in God and Jesus is my savior.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Well written and thought out. This is such a hard thin to express to a person that has just experienced a loss without sounding trite, but it is true that because we have free will that bad things will happen and the answer lies not in blaming or questioning God, but in changing the way we think about ourselves as a part of humanity. And this is exactly what HOW is all about!

      Mark

    • pstraubie48 profile image
      Author

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Billy,good afternoon...

      Yes...He is right there...all the time. My search always leads me back to that answer---He is right where He is supposed to be.

      And, how blessed we are because of that.

      Sending Angels to you again....:) ps

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well I'd like a dollar for every time I asked that question....turned out, PS, that God was in me all along. I just had to be receptive and welcome him. And he is in you and your writings, and he is in every single person who helps others, and who need help. The search for him is not nearly as difficult as we make it...we just have to open our hearts.

      Blessings and hugs from Olympia,

      bill