God, where are You?
God, where are you? Have you ever uttered those words before? Have you been so down and discouraged that you cried out to God but there was no answer? Why do you think He doesn't answer you with an immediate response, were we bad, undeserving or was He just simply waiting for you to realize that He had never left you? The book of Acts tells of 2 men, strong in faith that were taken to prison because they cast out a spirit in Jesus name. But that's not the reason they were taken to be jailed, you will need to read that for yourself in chapter 16. The point I want to make is God never leaves us nor will He forsake us (Hebrews 13). The story goes on in Acts that Paul and Silas were in prison praying and began to sing praises to God. An earthquake rocked the place shaking it to the foundations of the prison. The cell doors flew open and the shackles fell off all who were in custody. The jailer awoke and thought that the prisoners had escaped and he drew his sword and was going to fall on it. Paul yelled to the jailer, stop, we are all here. At that point the jailer lit lamps and fell before Paul and Silas and said, what must I do to become saved? My question to you is, can we possibly be that strong, endure beatings that were not warranted, scourging's that were undeserved? Is it possible that we can endure emotional and physical walls that seem to cripple us to the point where we can't even function? Yep, that's exactly what I am saying, but it's not just my opinion it's based on biblical study that gives me the strength to carry on. I can do all thing through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4). I remember a night such as Paul and Silas went through with slightly different details. It was the evening of February 14th, Valentines day. We were getting ready to go to church when I went to our son Kristopher's room to let him know we were leaving. I knocked on the door a couple of times and when he didn't answer I opened the door. I found my son laying lifeless on his bed, he had taken his life. This was the worst day of our lives and would be so etched in my mind forever. No daddy should ever have to go through something like this, ever! Yet, God allowed it in our lives and it has forever changed us. There is a "supposed verse" God will not give you more than you can handle.......that verse doesn't exist. Indeed, God will allow you more than you can handle and it's because He wants us to draw near to Him. The evening Kris took his life was met with an outpouring of friends and relatives that stayed with us and gave us support. At the end of the evening our Pastor asked how they could pray, I said "That God would be glorified". His eyes grew, I don't think he was expecting that answer, of course I felt those words came out from the Holy Spirit that had filled us because of the days that lie ahead. As we prepared for the funeral God would continue to show up in some amazing ways. I stuck a CD player in Kris's room and hit the replay on Kathy Troccoli's Rain on my parade. it played for days. We had an excess of 400 people show up for the funeral. As the funeral was ending the Pastor gave the opportunity to share Jesus with the audience and as a result 25 people gave their hearts to Christ. As he prayed The Pastor ended with "Bob and Carol, God is glorified". Why am I sharing this with you? It's not to invoke an emotional response but rather to give you hope. Are you saying to yourself, but you two were strong in your faith so you were equipped to handle it. Yeah.....no. I cried every day for a little over a year. One more thing about God, nothing is impossible with Him. Carol prayed for snow and I prayed for sunshine for the day of the funeral. At the grave sight we received His answer, yes to both. While the sun shown through the beautiful snowflakes we knew that God was with us, forever and always. We hope that you can endure the hardships that will shape you into the vessel that God desires for you to be. Rejoice in the Lord always and again, I say rejoice and while you're at it, go and make disciples.