It seems to be the week to ask that question. I’ve asked that question and I’ve been asked countless times, where was God when…?
I made a visit to the home of a staff family today. On July 4, Johan Munoz fell from a ladder in a freakish accident and was literally minutes from bleeding out and dying in his front yard. His family was out of the country and the only noise he could hear in their peaceful neighborhood was a lawn mower several houses away. That lawnmower stopped running and couldn’t start again until its owner heard Johan’s cry for help. The neighbor called 911 and several surgeries later, Johan had his left leg amputated above the knee.
I went by their home with my good friend Carlos, the pastor of our Sugar Hill Espanol Church. It was our intent to be a blessing, to see what we might do to help, and pray with them. An hour later I found myself on the receiving side of the blessing as Johan poured his heart out about his prayer life and praying in the model of the Prophet Elisha. I heard him thank the Lord for sparing his life for greater service. He has been leading the Prayer Ministry at Sugar Hill Espanol and it has become an expectation for God to show up and He has been working greatly through Johan.
When we were about to leave, blessed immeasurably, he and his sweet wife handed Carlos and I thank you notes for all the church has done in rallying around them. And then he handed us a check for the church. It was one of those rare moments when I was speechless. I literally asked him if he was on crack? And followed that up with, are you sure? I was beyond shocked and beyond blessed. It was a time when God may have seemed distant on July 4, but clearly was doing something special in Johan and Paola’s life. Something beyond human comprehension. God was there today.
And then Sunday, right after church, I stopped by to pray with a family in our community that was in a state of shock and dire grief. Their son had taken his own life the previous evening. I told Jenny that I had never seen grief hang on a soul as deeply as I saw Sunday. Where was God in this heartache?
I suppose that I could offer a preacher answer, or lob a bible verse at them. But I had the sense that I was to be there to simply be their friend, their pastor. I was there to love and pray with them. The why may never be found this side of Heaven, and when we are there it won’t matter.
My prayer is that God will be seen, felt, heard and welcomed into their souls to the degree that as time heals and God holds, His church and His people will be present with encouragement, on their knees and be asking for the heart of God to be swayed toward abundant mercy, amazing grace and peace like a river for these gracious, loving family.
Where Was God? Where He always is…Right here, with us.
Seek His face today. Kiss your spouse and hold your kids tight tonight. And thank the Divine for His mercies that are new every day. Then stop and listen for His voice. He is so close that He can whisper when we are still enough and quiet enough to hear Him.
In both of these families and in your family, trust the promise that God wants to shower you with all of His affection. He says that you are worth it to Him. There is no place that He is not already there.