I’m not going to lie, I’ve had a challenging few days. Saturday I said goodbye to a friend who is dying. Work is rough. Voting… Things could certainly be a lot worse, but I’m in bit of a funk over all of it. For the most part, my recent life has been so full of the amazing harmony and beauty that can come from a life lived close to God. Relational healing, order in my home I thought was impossible, remarkable synergy at work, I even look younger… These are all things that glorify God. But as Oswald Chambers likes to ask, what do I do if those are taken away? Where does that leave me? Where does that leave my understanding of God? If I lose the benefits of His presence, does my faith remain intact?
For instance, if my affinity to God usually makes my work go well, but somehow that stopped, what would that mean for my faith? Is God still God even if my work doesn’t glorify Him by reflecting His majesty and order? What if his greatest glory is for me to lose my job and glorify him by praising him in my distress?
Take anything, but do not take my God away! But… is it even possible to have His presence without the benefits? Don’t those things go hand in hand? What is the presence of God without its benefits? This is a thing I do not know or understand.
God’s voice comes in the storm:
Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
and a path for the thunderstorm,
to water a land where no one lives,
an uninhabited desert,
to satisfy a desolate wasteland
and make it sprout with grass?
Does the rain have a father?
Who fathers the drops of dew?
From whose womb comes the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
when the waters become hard as stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen?
God’s presence is inescapable. He exists even where there is no one to see Him. If God’s presence is life and breath to me, the last chapters of Job are only the most beautiful reassurance. “As long as creation exists, I am there.”
Have I had and known enough of Him for that to be my joy, even in the middle of a storm?