“God, Where Are You?”

The Upper Room devotional reflection for Monday, May 9, 2022 comes to us from Dean Gammons of North Carolina

1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:1-5 NIV

 

“God, Where Are You?”

“God, where are you?” I was 22 when I first asked this question. A horrific car crash had left me with a ten percent chance of survival, yet miraculously I am still here. Now in my sixties, I am finding it easier to see God’s work in my life. I grew up in a Christian household, made a profession of faith at age 12, and have been a Christian since. When I was young, I mistakenly believed that being Christian should give me protection from suffering. But this is simply not true. It was not true for Christ, nor is it true for his followers.


Looking at my life that has included multiple surgeries and physical maladies, an onlooker might mistakenly assume that God was far removed from me. But that would be a mistake. I saw God’s hand at work when surgeons changed their minds at the last minute, when treatment plans were altered, and when surgery revealed results dramatically different from x-rays. God was present in the support of friends and family who prayed and offered words of encouragement. God was there all along.

 

Friends –

I agree with Dean Gammons that God didn’t protect Christ from suffering, nor does God protect us from suffering. Instead, God is present with us and embraces us at all times, especially when we are suffering. Even when we don’t feel God’s presence, God’s unlimited grace is always with us, no matter what.

I invite you to think about moments when it seemed like God had allowed you to suffer. Were you eventually able to experience God’s presence bringing you comfort and peace?

--Pastor bea

 
Prayer:

Heavenly Father, hear our cry. We pray that you will surround the oppressed, the downtrodden, and those sick in body and spirit with your comfort and your love. Amen.

--Dean Gammons

 

Prayer Focus:

Surgeons.


Thought for the Day:

I will not let circumstances define my relationship with God.