An Avoiding God?

Do you believe in mind reading? You know – the ability for someone to read exactly what you’re thinking? If you’ve been walking through some tough times lately – with your finances, health, relationships, or just life-in-general – and you read Psalm 10, you might just be convinced that somehow that author read your mind and wrote down your thoughts!

exalt-god-by-elim-center-internationalHow many times have you wondered, like the Psalmist, “God, are you avoiding me? Where are you when I need you?” (Psalm 10:1-2, MSG) It can sometimes seem that the very times that life gets toughest, God seems the furthest away. And often, it’s easy to start questioning whether God even exists at all.

The writer of Psalm 10 challenges God in the unfairness
of life. The bad guys prosper, the good guys suffer, and God appears to be unphased and absent. Have you ever felt that way? A couple months ago I counseled a young man trying to turn his life around after years of drug addiction. He was lamenting how “easy” his life was before, compared to the struggle of doing things right, working 40+ hours for a low hourly wage, and barely making ends meet. Part of him longed to return to the easy life, yet he persisted, knowing the hard way was the right way.

When troubles come, we often picture God as the great and powerful Mighty One. We desire that God would step in and make everything good again. To right every wrong. To punish every perpetrator. To provide our every need. And while that’s entirely possible, God is also a respecter of our free wills. That means we often get to (or have to!) experience the natural consequences of decisions and actions of ourselves and others.

So where is God in the midst of us experiencing natural consequences? Sitting back, uninterested in the perils and pain of life? Hardly. You’ll find God as near as your next breath. Walking alongside you.god-by-doranSupporting you. Encouraging you. Listening to you. It seems that in big times of trouble, God most often shows up “small” – personal, intimate, near, and present. The evil-doers do not go unpunished and do not prosper forever. But it seems they aren’t God’s concern in the moment – you are. Your pain, your heartache, your need, your tears. Those are what receive God’s immediate attention.

Psalm 10 concludes, “But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless…You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed.”

Trust that God is hearing you and He is for you. While your challenging circumstances may not immediately change, you do not go through them alone. Cry out to God with the words of Psalm 10: “Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless.” While the writer of Psalm 10 did not really read your mind, they too walked through tough times, have “been there, done that” and found God faithful. And, He continues to be faithful still today!