Is God Still With me?
Feeling God’s Presence in the Midst of a Storm
There are times in our lives when we feel the presence of God all around us. We feel his peace, his guidance, and his blessing and in those times, it is easy to offer praise. However, it becomes much harder sometimes to feel his presence during a storm. When we are going through a divorce, when we struggle with infertility, when we fail to hold a job, or we are struggling with prolonged illness, we struggle to feel that God is working in it all. It feels as if He has abandoned us at times. The times we cry out the most seem to be the times He is the quietest. How can we trust that God is seeing us in our pain, and working on our behalf? “Is God Still With me?”
Learning from Job’s Story
In Job, we see a man of God being tested and tried by losing his children, his wealth, and his own health. Towards the middle of the book, we see Job begin to question God’s justice. He accuses God of being far off, of not hearing his cries. He says in Job Chapter 29:4, “Oh for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house.” Here Job is assuming that the days of blessing were present when he felt the intimate friendship of God. He equates closeness with God to his convenient lifestyle. But now, because he has lost everything, he feels the intimate friendship is lost. I’d be surprised if none of could relate to that at one point in our life.
Living for God’s Mission
Perhaps Job’s question was the wrong one. Instead of asking, “Is God still with me?”, perhaps Job should have been asking, “Am I still with God?” See, it is too easy to feel strong in our faith when things are convenient and easy. It becomes a lot harder to hold true when we are being tested on every side. The problem is we begin our lives expecting God to live for our mission instead of us for His. When we feel He hasn’t held up His end of the bargain we begin to question if He is even with us! We feel that God has abandoned us, when really it may very well be that we have abandoned Him! We want Him to work for our dreams, plans, and goals, and when He doesn’t, we question His goodness.
Revealing the Power of God
Perhaps we should be asking ourselves when times of struggle come, “Will I stick with God, even when it’s hard. Even when I don’t understand, will I live for His mission and not mine?” When we begin to change our thinking, we begin to realize that storms are a necessary part of HIS mission. It is the storms that testify to God’s power the most; if we don’t persevere through them, the power of God cannot be seen. The storms are necessary in proclaiming the power of God working in broken people, broken situations, and broken lifestyles.
Living for God’s Mission, Not Our Convenience
I love at the end of Job how God begins to question him. He makes it very clear that Job has no idea what God is doing behind the scenes. Instead of doubting God’s justice and presence, Job should have been focused on living for the mission of God; using the storm to testify to the power of God. It is easier said than done, I know. When you are in the middle of a storm sometimes all you can do is just survive. You strive for each breath you take. I get that. I just want to encourage you that when it feels like God is distant, when you begin to question God’s justice and presence, remember what Job’s final response was to God. Job 42:3 says, “You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely, I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” When it feels that God left us in the storm, that is when God is hardest at work. He is orchestrating the very details that we are experiencing for His purposes. We need to stop expecting Him to live for OUR mission, our convenience, and start living for His. When this is our mindset, the storms become an opportunity to reveal the power of God working in it all. So, the question we ask must be, “When the storms come, Am I still with Him? Is God Still With me? Am I living for His mission or mine?”
God is at work in the storms. His work is too wonderful for us to even understand. Let us use our times of struggle to testify to the mission of Christ. Let us use our times of struggle to reveal the power of God at work. Let us make His mission, our own.