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Where Are You God?



 

Posted by Pat Elsberry, July 5, 2023


At some point in our lives, we will all experience loss. It may be the loss of a loved one who has gone to Heaven, or perhaps the end of a longtime career, a lifelong friendship, or even the estrangement of a family member who is still alive but you no longer have a relationship with. Loss comes in many forms and can summon the most intense emotions, making even the strongest believer question their faith. Have you ever asked, “Where are you, God?”


It’s a question that has no easy answer. It’s not like God will pop up, waving his hands and shouting, “Here I am! I’m sitting by this fig tree waiting to chat with you.” No, it doesn’t quite work like that.


But God is here. He is as close to you as the air you breathe.

He isn’t going to barge in where he isn’t wanted, but he is here, nonetheless. He is standing there, waiting for you to invite him in. I made the decision to invite him into my life when I was 16 years old, and it was a decision I have never regretted.


Unexpected and traumatic death has come and knocked on my door twice. Yes, I asked, “Where are you, God?” Yet, as devastating as these losses were, it didn’t take long to realize he was right there with me, even if I didn’t understand why these things happened.


“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.

“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so my ways are higher than your ways

and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 MSG


When you ask where you are, God, it comes down to trust, faith, and hope. Trust that God is who he says he is. Faith that his word is true and holding on to the hope of Christ.

There was a time when I began having the same type of dream repeatedly. In it, my youngest son is walking along with me, and in the next moment, he’s gone. Vanished, like a puff of smoke! I had the same type of dream about my husband as well. One minute we were walking together in a crowd of people, and the next, he was gone. Each time I woke up crying and yelling their names.


Momentarily I have awakened with such fear gripping my heart. Death, especially unexpected traumatic death, can elicit a host of responses. The one thing that I rely on is my faith. It has made the difference between surviving my daughter’s death and barely functioning.

During one of my quiet times, I was reminded that God never promised we wouldn’t have trials. But he does promise he will be with us through them all. He will never leave us.


“I will never fail you or abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5 CSB


I know this isn’t the way for everyone, but I would ask, “Where else will you go? Who will you turn to? What else do you have left?”


If you’re asking, “Where is God?” He is right here, just waiting to be invited in.


I encourage you to fix your eyes on him.


He will fill your tank when you’re empty.

He will lift you up and carry you when you cannot take one more step.

He knows your heartache, and he will heal your crushed spirit.

Grief is hard. It’s the hardest thing we will ever do. This journey is not one of instant gratification. It’s something I have to work on every single day. I have to put in the time to spend in the word, and on those days when I may be overwhelmed, if I can remember only one word, it’s this: Jesus. The name above all names.



Pat Elsberry is an author, speaker, blogger, and a passionate advocate for parents dealing with grief after the loss of a child. Pat created multiple social media groups focused on providing hope to others who are walking the same path, including her blog, Hope During Loss. Pat facilitates an in-person grief share for women who have experienced child loss, and is also a moderator for Team Sharing, a nationwide peer-led support group for parents who have lost children to substance use disorder. Pat is the author of Beautifully Broken: Finding Hope During Loss, and will soon release her first devotional, Comforted by God. Pat and her husband, Fred live outside Atlanta and have a blended family of 7 children and 5 grandchildren. Her favorite things include traveling, cooking, gardening, dark chocolate, and worship music. You can find Pat on her blog, www.hopeduringloss.com, and on Facebook and Instagram @HopeDuringLoss.




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