When God Seems Out of Reach

“Why am I still here?” she asked us as she cried.

Life had taken a toll on her body, her soul, and her mind;

and answers didn’t come easily as I looked into her tear-filled eyes.

It’s one thing to say,

“God loves you,”

it’s another thing to prove  it.

Her life had been a series of unfortunate events,

many of which she could not control;

and as I stood by her weather-worn car with a friend,

I found myself asking the very same thing David asks in a Psalm I read this morning.

Lord, why do you stand so far away?

Why do you hide in times of trouble?

Psalm 10:1

Sometimes, whether I like to admit it or not,

God does seem just out of reach.

And last night,

it took a long arm to feel His presence.

We hugged her,

prayed for her,

and gave her a little help as she went on our way –

in search of family she hadn’t seen in years.

But as she drove away,

I found my heart filled with questions too.

Life is such a mystery.

One person’s best day is another person’s worst.

Some shout with victory from mountaintops

while others bend in agony in valleys……

all at the very same time.

Will this life ever make sense?

I’m so glad David agonized over unanswerable questions too.

He wasn’t afraid to say out loud what many of us bury deep in our hearts.

Life is tough.

And sometimes God does feel unreachable.

Yet even in these moments of wrestling with where God was,

David never stopped talking to Him.

He knew God could hear his voice even as he wondered where He was.

Maybe that’s the beauty of the Psalms.

In one chapter, David is desperate for a sign of God’s presence;

while in another, He’s confident everything about his life is wrapped securely in it.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.

I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 16:5-8

David gives me permission to wrestle.

He gives me permission to watch a broken lady drive away in tears and whisper,

“God, where are you?”

after I’ve just prayed,

“Lord, go with Bobbi,

protect her,

guide her,

fill her life with signs of Your presence.”

To the world this all seems crazy.

Trusting in Someone we cannot see –

and often cannot feel.

And yet, where would David have been without Him.

And where would I be today?

For Bobbi,

God may have felt far away when she arrived in our small town,

but I think when our arms wrapped around her,

it was Him who hugged her…….

not us.

And as I watched her leave the gas station

and I wondered where in the world God was,

I think Bobbi felt Him right next to her in her car.

Only God can seem so distant 

yet find a way to be our portion and our cup.

If He feels far from you today,

don’t be afraid to tell Him.

I believe He will show up.

Maybe in the hug of a friend.

Maybe in the hug of a stranger.

And if someone looks at you today,

and asks, through tears,

“Why am I still here?”

Don’t wonder where God is…….

just be the hands of God……

and suddenly,

He’ll be right there.

That’s how He works.

And I’m so thankful.

(Today’s reading was from Psalm 6, 9, 10, 14, 16, 21, 43, and 44; and I Chron. 1 and 2.)

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