How many times have you heard this? Let’s be honest, how many times have w questioned it ourselves?
Go ahead and fill in the blank: where is God when ______________? Why did God allow ____________? Is God responsible for _______________?
It is not evil to question, to wonder, to beg for answers to our deepest hurts, to the world’s shameful deeds; to wonder why God did not put an end to this hurricane or that war; why children and women are still sold as slaves into the sex trade, why good people get cancer, lose spouses, children, houses. After all, we are given good precedent: David and others cries out in the Psalms – our sacred scriptures! He is unafraid of questioning, of showing his weakness in attempting to rely on God in the middle of turbulent circumstances. Look at Psalm 5 and 6 and Psalm 10, on and on through these songs. We have a rich history of tears, frustration, fear and hope, beggars of God’s mercy for salvation from oppression and illness, questions without answers.
And yet someone comes to me with such questions, I’m tempted to offer answers. I want to relieve burdens, to bandage wounds, to heal deep hurts. I want to defend God against accusations of distance and disinterest, to give God an “out” and try to reason the world and other un-understandable things. Then, when I watch a special on Children for Sale and see the young children around the world who are in slavery to those who pimp them out for a few dollars, I can’t help but wonder where God is in the middle of this. So I try to rationalize Him yet again, and make excuses for the perceived absence.
But we don’t need to defend God. God is God and big enough to handle Himself. Does He need our defense? Perhaps in all our asking, we’ll find God in our questions; if we listen closely, maybe we will hear him tell us the answer:
You: you’re the answer to your prayer. I am at work within you. I will always work through my people. The fields are white for harvest, the needs are huge and the risks real, so pray that I will send workers to the fields. In the meanwhile, you go. Remember, I am working through you.
Maybe we are the answer to our own prayers.
Maybe God is stirring us to act.
What will we say?
(for more info on the child sex industry and what you can do to help oppose this and save children’s lives, please see International Justice Mission)