Did God Show Up?

“…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. Share on XAnd 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. Share on X

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?  


*Feature Photo by Stephen Andrews on Unsplash

30 Replies

  1. Jeannie Waters Reply

    Sylvia, your testimony of God’s presence is powerful. You remind us He’s always present and always at work even when we can’t see results. During a hard time in our lives, when we begged God to intervene, the situation worsened before it improved. Yet His presence and comfort sustained us. He’s faithful in the storms.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Jeannie, I appreciate you weighing in with your experience. God is present and faithful even when things seem to worsen rather than improve. I love to hear that confirmation. Thanks!

  2. Cleo Waters Reply

    Sylvia… Before our baby died I remember praying for a miracle; I remember demanding that God heal him. I recall the heartache, the torture of even thinking about him dying. I also remember the moment that God opened my eyes to see that those prayers were for me, not David. David would be safe in the arms of Jesus. God allowed David to live until I could accept His will, then David took his last earthly breath. In ensuing years I thought so many times how David was safe while my living children were faced with worldly struggles. I do remember when your family was faced with your daughters situation and I do remember what a witness it was to me as I ‘watched’. Thank you for being faithful ‘in spite of the storm’.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Cleo, thank you so much for sharing how God sustained you through such a difficult trial. What a comfort He brought with that assurance David was safe in Jesus’ arms. It’s a precious picture. Thanks Cleo. I always appreciate your thoughts.

      • becky jacobsen Reply

        Sylvia, I love how you pour out God’s love. I had the privilege of assisting Charity while at QLI. She is a beautiful soul, even in the midst of situations that would break the spirit of many, but not Charity, nor her family. Please tell Charity, Jeremy and the girls I send my love.
        Becky J

        • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

          Thank you so much for writing, Becky! I am forever grateful for the helpers Charity had, and the encouragement given. Bless you for remembering and taking the time to write and respond.

  3. Nancy E. Head Reply

    My friend had a similar situation to Cleo’s. God let her baby live until she could give him to God without reservation.

    Sometimes we feel He asks too much of us.

    There is nowhere else to go with our circumstances except to the throne of the merciful one.

    Thanks and God bless!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Yes Nancy, trials come in many ways, and sometimes it does feel like He asks too much. But your words, “There is nowhere else to go with our circumstances except to the throne of the merciful one,” is such a solid truth. How encouraging. Thank you!

  4. Don Pahl Reply

    Thank you, Sylvia, for your reminder of God’s constant presence and omniscience concerning our lives.

    “But he knows the way that I take and when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold!” Job 23:10

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Don. I appreciate you and your wife’s faithfulness throughout your years of ministry.

  5. Bill B Reply

    Wonderful thoughts. Even our Lord prayed to his Father “Abba Father. everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” He sets the example for us.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      So true. His example always puts my own prayers and internal struggles into a much better alignment. Thanks for reminding me of Jesus in the Garden. Such powerful and humble words. Thanks Bill.

  6. Jan Clements Reply

    Oh Sylvia, I love your posts and there is always something to chew on! This post resonated with me as I remembered going thru a dark time and
    I was reminded that of God’s name is ” Jehovah Shammah” The God who is there. It’s only mentioned once in Scripture but it was such a comfort. I then made a list of all the times that God was there for me. I kept that list and keep on adding to it. It’s a powerful exercise because I need reminding over and over again that Jehovah Shammah is there and has been there and will be there for me. Thank you for reminding me again.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Jan, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate hearing from you and oh how I love, love, love these words. What a precious thought, “Jehovah Shammah.” And, what a wonderful application. The God Who Is There exercise! I am going to try doing this. It’s a wonderful testimony of how God was faithful, and an encouragement to persevere. It is so important to remember…Thank you Jan!

  7. J.D. Wininger Reply

    Amen Ms. Sylvia. While God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want Him to, He will always answer the prayers of those who faithfully ask. What an important reminder that we wouldn’t want to serve a God subjected Himself to our will.

  8. Beth Menezes Reply

    Hi Sylvia….
    I remember how agonizingly I also prayed for your Charity… and the grace all of us praying needed, to absorb the fact He was answering us differently then our deepest requests, the grace to absorb the impact of His Glory brought about by His will (despite the earthly-human pain it costs). Being found faithful – living out His will in faith is what counts; oh what grace we need to be enabled to lean into Him continually.
    The joy of not serving a puppet God but The Sovereign Almighty! Halelujah!
    The fallacy of asking God to show up when He never left!!
    I had to cry with your statement of these truths. Beautiful. Thank you.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Oh Beth, your comments meant so much to me. Thank you. I know you were praying us through. It is wonderful to hear from you!!

  9. Yvonne Morgan Reply

    What a powerful testimony Sylvia. Like you, I know God always shows up. Sometimes it’s not in the way we want. In those times we need to remember sometimes this things happen for the glory of God to shine through us. Thank you for sharing

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Yvonne. When God takes us through the fire, even though we totter at times, may He always get the glory! It belongs solely to Him.

  10. Sharon Reply

    Sylvia I love that line,
    Good didn’t have to show up, He was already there!❤️🤗

    • Philip Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Sharon!

  11. Leigh DeLozier Reply

    What a powerful story of trusting God, even when it’s hard or we don’t understand. Your faith while going through that with your daughter and your willingness to share what you learned are such an encouragement to others. Thank you for your boldness in doing that.

  12. Katherine Pasour Reply

    You’ve shared such a powerful message, Sylvia. It makes me ask myself about all those times when God “showed up” but I didn’t. I’m so grateful our God is faithful and trustworthy, even when I fail. Wishing you peace and blessings.

    • Sylvia schroeder Reply

      Katherine, as always your words encourage me so very much. Thank you. God is faithful.

  13. Debbie Wilson Reply

    “God didn’t have to show up. He was there all the time.” What a powerful insight. God used your verse in Ps 119 during a particularly difficult and disappointing time in our lives. Years later, I can “see” the benefits of that very dark season. That scripture helped me trust Him in the dark. Thank you for this very poignant post.

  14. Sylvia schroeder Reply

    Thank you so much Debbie. It is always encouraging to hear how God shows Himself faithful. Thanks for sharing! We have a great God!

  15. Laura McCormick Reply

    Sylvia ❤️