I pulled into our military post gas station years ago in Germany, got out of the car, and began the familiar routine of filling up with gas. But suddenly, I don’t know from where, a fire started on the ground nearby. All I could think about was my little Andrew in his car seat inside our car. Thankfully, no gas had started coming out of my nozzle yet. I quickly placed it back in its holder, jumped in the car, and high tailed it out of there as fast as I could!
Andrew knew that something had upset me. His eyes were big as he asked me what was wrong. I told him about the fire that I had seen and that I wanted us to be safe. But most importantly, I told him, God was with us and had kept us safe.
I wanted to stress that fact to Andrew, so little and so curious about why I had been scared. So, I repeated that truth several times to him on our short drive to our apartment.
“Andrew,” I said, “God was with us and He kept us safe.”
Finally, as I lifted him out of his car seat in our apartment parking lot and held his hand as we walked to our door, I said it once more.
“God was with us, Andrew, and He kept us safe.”
“Yeah,” Andrew agreed. “But where was He? I didn’t see Him!”
We smile at Andrew’s innocent question, but honestly, most of us have felt that way at times.
I just finished reading and studying through the book of John. The end of the book is wrenching. There was Jesus and His disciples, enjoying a quiet Passover meal one night. And the next night, Jesus was dead. The betrayal, the arrest, the farce of a trial, the brutal torture, and the horrible crucifixion. It happened so quickly! The disciples were unprepared for this turn…so lost…so scared…so alone.
How quickly their world had turned upside down!
“Now what?!” I’m sure they said to one another. “What do we do now? Are we next?”
Of course, we know the rest of the story. Knowing the rest, though, sometimes makes me gloss over just how frightening and uncertain their futures must have been to them.
But then came Sunday! There stood Jesus in their midst, very much alive and whole and healed!
And what did He say to them?
“Peace be with you.”
The word means quietness…rest…and to be at one again.
Today, we may have the question that my little Andrew did.
“Where is God? I don’t see Him!”
Sometimes we don’t see him as we look at this upside-down world. Literally overnight, with news of a strange new virus, people were in a mass panic. Store shelves emptied…major events canceled…jobs lost…quarantines.
SO much uncertainty!!
“Things are so strange,” everyone is saying. “So weird and scary.”
Indeed, it is a strange and scary time.
But oh, what a time it is to trust our God, those of us who know Him! What a time to see Him in His Word and in our hearts, speaking His words of peace and calmness!
The quietness and rest that God speaks of always brings me to my mother’s favorite verse:
“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
To “be still” actually means to quit striving.
Quit pushing and pulling and struggling and hurrying and worrying and panicking!
Just relax. Just rest. Just breathe deep and let God’s refreshing presence fill your soul and your mind.
And know…KNOW…that He is God.
God is in charge of viruses and shortages and disrupted lives and lost jobs and unexpected decisions.
God has a purpose. He has a plan. He is not surprised.
And if you don’t see Him, then just be still…be quiet…open your Bible…and let Him talk to you.
Then you talk to Him, too, and see what happens.
God wants to be your Savior. He wants to be your Father. He will meet your needs.
His peace be with you, dear ones, during this stressful time. May we shine bright in this dark time.
And may each of us be able to say, “I DID see Him!!”