I’ve heard many people question faith in times of trouble. Trauma strikes and people ask, “where was God?” Where was He in the hardships? Where was He in the pain and the grief? Where was God when everything fell apart?
I’m no expert in theology, but I know pain and grief very well. I know what it feels like to cry out to God from the pit of depression and despair. Through the loss of my brother, I, too, have asked why. Through tears of deep pain, I’ve wondered what good could come from this darkness. Through my sons’ diagnosis, I’ve asked that very question, “God, where are you?”
Looking back over the past two years since diagnosis day, I can tell you exactly where God has been through all of the trials we’ve faced. He has been with us. He is right here, walking through each step we take. We may think that God should rescue us from our difficulties, but that’s not how life works. He sees beyond human understanding, and we don’t. We see the temporary, He sees the eternal.
When my boys were in the hospital getting tests done for their disease, I didn’t see God in the tears, the needles, or the bad news. I saw Him in the silly smiles of my boys as they laughed together side by side playing Legos. I saw Him in the kindness of the nurses and doctors who showered them with gifts. I saw Him in their courage and bravery as they endured poke after poke and test after test. My oldest son looked up at me with his big brown eyes and said, “at least we get to go through this together.” I felt the presence of God in that moment clear as day. When my son’s teachers showed up with “get well” cards from their entire classes, I saw God’s goodness in that. He has been with us through it all.
When we found a mobility van, we wondered how we would ever be able to afford it. We prayed for God to provide for such an expensive purchase. We went to bed worried and anxious. The next day my best friend’s dad sent us a check. A few days later, my incredible friends quietly left a check on my kitchen counter after a playdate. A week later, my husband’s hockey team and friends gave us an insanely generous check. They’d been fundraising for us as a surprise. God moves, God provides, and God is with us, even when we fear, doubt, and wonder how we will ever make it through.
My boys fall often, and it scares me to death each time. I worry about breaks and embolisms. I worry about how it affects them emotionally. Of course, I encourage them to use their wheelchairs, but boys are stubborn and just want to play sometimes. A few weeks ago, my kids were playing when I heard a crash and a loud cry from my oldest son. He rarely ever cries, so I knew it was a pain cry. When I found him, he was on the ground face-first in a pile of toys. I rushed to his side and called for my husband when I saw blood on the ground and all over his face.
Thankfully he only suffered a bloody nose, a fat lip, and a few bruises, but there is no doubt in my mind that God protected him from something much more serious. He is ambulatory, but very close to needing his power chair full time. My son is tall, and when he falls, he has no core strength to brace for a fall, causing him to hit the ground hard. After tripping on a toy, he fell, knocking his head on a dresser on the way down, before finally landing face-first on the wood floor. God protected my sweet boy, I’m sure of it.
Right now, in our world, things look uncertain. Shock, panic, and fear have all of us wondering if our lives will ever go back to normal. Many people are suffering, grieving, and even dying from this virus. I can’t tell you why God has allowed such suffering to take place in our world, but I can tell you that He is not absent. He doesn’t allow suffering without purpose. I can debate the theology of free will and sin for hours, but the bottom line is that God is good. He loves us, and all He wants from us is to turn to Him in our joys and sorrows.
There is a beautiful quote by Mr. Rogers that comforts me in hard times. “When I was a boy, and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” God is all around us, you just need to know where to look. Look for Him in the courage of the doctors and nurses. Look for the helpers, look for the sunshine, look for the kind acts of others. Look up, and you will see so much more than suffering. Where is God during our trials? Simple. He is everywhere.