It’s a question that we all ask when we are hurting, when we are struggling, when we are frustrated by life’s challenges. Where is God when we are going through our trials that never seem to end? Where is God when we confront our heartaches? Where is God when all we know is defeat and misery?
Though God can be found when we have experienced victory or have overcome diseases or made something out of our lives, He is just as likely to be found in our trials. He is likely to be found in our struggles. He is found in our journey.
He is there when we cry out in anger at the unfairness of life. There is nothing wrong with expressing anger “as long as we don’t sin” as it says in the Bible (Ephesians 4:26). As a matter of fact, unexpressed anger can be detrimental to one’s health.
And it’s what we do with anger that matters. Anger tells us that something is wrong with an injustice or some unfairness. Even an emotional wound. And God is there when we take that anger and do something positive about that unfairness. As Julie Cameron writes in her book “The Artist’s Way”: “Anger is NOT meant to be acted out. Anger points the direction. We are meant to use anger as fuel to take the actions we need to move where anger points us.”
When anxiety and depression set in, God is there telling us that our human spirit or soul is in need of maturing as American psychiatrist Dr. M. Scott Peck, M.D. believes as he writes in his classic best seller “The Road Less Traveled.” It is a lot of work to soul search, to question. Many of us refuse to take up the challenge.
It has been written that God may be telling us through our emotional pains that we are in need of a new direction. But, once again, there is no proof.
God is there when we have a good cry when we do something wrong. Our souls are having a cleansing.
God is there when we take the courage, nervously stepping out of our “safety zone” by taking a chance, by taking a risk, on our dreams. Success cannot be obtained without risking. As Andre Gide writes: “man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
God is there when, in our frustrations, we receive an encouraging word or piece of wisdom from someone. A sign, a symbol. We cannot prove that such a message is from God. It could have been coincidental. But we cannot disprove it either.
God is there when people reach out to us in our time of need. Our friends, our neighbors, even strangers. And when people do not, it is not because of God or some outside force prevented it. It’s because man has free will. God’s reach is extended to the point that we extend ourselves and become helpful. At this time, we would be wise to ask ourselves who we have hurt by our silence.
God is there when we swallow our pride and learn from our mistakes. And when we practice humility. And God is definitely there when we admit that we are wrong.
Though we may call God by different names, God is there when we see everyone as our brothers and sisters of one Heavenly Father. And God is there when we each see our neighbor’s gain is our gain; our neighbors’ loss as our loss” as the Taoism’s interpretation of the Golden Rule states.
God is there, when in the sight of hatred that we saw in Charlottesville, Virginia, people advocate with love and forgiveness. Buddha states: “Hatred does not cease by hatred. But only by love; this is the eternal rule.”
God is there when we come to terms to accept ourselves, that we are neither too good nor too bad. Despite what some people might think, we are not such bad people.
And God is there when we realize that everyone has his crosses to bear. Most people do not have it together. We all struggle; few lives are to be admired.
God is there when we see beyond our prejudices and realize that everyone has good qualities. We are not that different. People that we think are different are really not the enemy. Though our political and moral views may be different, our needs and wants are basically the same. We are only enemies in our minds. Diversity makes life interesting. If we were all the same, our lives would be boring!!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow writes: “If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”
And clergyman Henry Ward Beecher (1813 – 1887) adds: “you never know until you try to reach them how accessible men are but you must approach each man by the right door.”
Ken works as a security guard. He’s a struggling writer of sketch comedy and pieces on spiritual issues. He wants to set up a non- profit comedy troupe for the community, entertaining in hospitals, drop-in centres, etc. He has established a troupe for psychiatric and physically-challenged communities to participate in. He is also interested in the plight of psychiatric patients and other poverty-related issues. Ken can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article cannot be re-published without permission.