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Where is God?

James Grayston

After a recent tragedy, which was, reported in the media recently, one of the comments from a viewer on the BBC feed was that their hopes and prayers would be with the families who were impacted.

It struck me as I read the comments that there seems to be occasions where it’s okay to refer to prayer or God but not others. It would seem appropriate to refer to these things with tragedies when you are thinking of others like one of the recent of many shootings in the States. On the other hand it would be frowned on or even mocked if you refer to your belief in God when confronted with say -  a moral question or in the areas of creation or life for example.

In reality this reflects the thinking of society where people resort to prayer or faith when confronted with death, illness or aspects of life where we really have no influence. It is as if we would only turn to God when in situations where we feel powerless and are unable to help ourselves.  So in answer to my question for the blog is God only found in tragedy or at times when nothing can be done – its really our last hope. It’s as though we are saying “surely in these situations we might find God to help”

Most people seem to go through life with little thought of God. He may be referenced at Christmas, possibly Easter, births and occasionally funerals – but for the most part He is left to the side. So much so that even in the most extreme situations like death – people are more comfortable leaving him out as well. Maybe this is more honest? If you live your life without God – why would you think abut him when you are about to die?

Over the past 40 years particularly in the west we have tried to marginalize God. It’s as though we would try and push him to the side – trying to evade his presence and his laws.

The King of Israel, David wrote about this in Psalm 139 –

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.

You might be reading this and thinking just like most that you would rather live without God. While you might try and ignore him – you can’t evade him. In the chapter David concludes –

Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.

The reality is we cannot escape God. He is ever present – even when we would like him not to be!

It’s possible to live as though we don’t need God. We think we are much more developed and cultured for such a simple belief in God. Millions are living like this everyday – maybe you are one of them if you’re reading this. While you might think this David has captured just how great God is. He said – “You know how exactly I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something”.

David describes God as breathtaking – when you consider that despite our hatred and disdain for him he provided a means of our salvation in The Lord Jesus Christ. An offer of grace and salvation to everyone of us. Breathtaking pretty much is a good summary. Another has referred to him as indescribable.

The fact is and this is a statement of faith. He either is everything and we need to turn to him or he is nothing  - another of the many gods over the centuries made up by man. You may take this view? If this is your opinion just for a minute think about Jesus and rationally describe who he is then? . At the very least look into these things and come to a conclusion about God. Don’t just live a life that ignores him without giving serious thought to who he is and what he has done for us. The bible would tell us to

Seek God while he’s here to be found,
pray to him while he’s close at hand.
Let the wicked abandon their way of life
and the evil their way of thinking.
Let them come back to God, who is merciful,
come back to our God, who is lavish with forgiveness.