“…for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5 ESV
Recently I was asked how I feel now about God’s response to our daughter’s illness in the past. We prayed for complete healing, we looked for a miracle and we expected Him to “show up,” even at the last minute. In fact, those “last minutes,” when it couldn’t get worse, happened many times in two long years.
We prayed specifically. We didn’t doubt God’s ability. We believed He could accomplish glorious results.
But God answered His way, and our daughter lives with quadriplegia.
My friend’s question caused me to stop and think, to open the scroll of memory.
How did God show up in the darkest moments of our lives?
How do you remember what God has done even when it was not the outcome you had prayed for?
It’s good to affirm from a distance, what we cannot see in the dark.
After some silence, I knew how to respond.
“God didn’t have to show up. He was there all the time.”
The Same God
We want Red Sea parting exultation when circumstances leave us feeling there is no way out. We listen for the voice who spoke to Jairus’ daughter, “Little girl, get up.” We expect Him to walk on the stormy seas, to pull us up from drowning just in time, or to give sight to our blindness. We beg for Him to “show up” in all His glory and majesty.
God didn’t have to show up. He was there all the time. Click To TweetAnd He does time after time.
Yet, He is the same God Stephen saw as he was martyred for his faith.
He is the same God of James whom Herod put to death.
He is the same Jesus men crucified on a cruel cross.
God’s divine character is difficult to mesh with a daughter for whom I would gladly change places in a hospital bed. And yet, His character shines steadfast in that darkness too. In fact, it is in the blackest night and the long enduring of it that He shines brightest.
Affirming a Great God
A god who is our puppet, is really no god at all. God does not only show up when He accomplishes what we want of Him. He is always worthy of our praise and worship in every situation.
But God does ask something of us. He asks us to show up. He wants us to come to Him when life hurts. He wants to speak to us through His Word. He longs to catch our tears and listen to our cries. He wants to be our comfort. He yearns to show Himself to be All He claims to be. Even when. Even if. A god who is our puppet, is really no god at all. Click To Tweet
As we bow in submission at His feet, every sacrifice of praise and worship, exalts His character which is spotless in decision and in action.
God shows who He is every day. He takes our breath away with His wonders. He performs unseen miracles. He raises the spiritually dead to eternal life. He brings strength and might when decay and weakness thrive. He transforms hearts and makes a path through difficult situations. He reigns King over all.
In difficult years inside medical facilities, and the tough seasons which followed, God didn’t shown up in the way we’d hoped and prayed.
But He was and still is beside us all the time. He’s never left. And He has proven Himself faithful in every way over and over again. “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” (Ps 119:71 ESV)
How has God shown Himself in your life even when the outcome wasn’t the one for which you’d prayed?