When someone says, “I don’t know how unbelievers make it through tough times without God in their lives," I’m always tempted to respond, “Well, it’s been in the toughest times of my life I wished God didn’t exist.”
If there were no God, we wouldn't be stuck trying to reconcile the existence of a God who supposedly loves us with the fact that we're lonely and hurting and feel like God couldn’t care less.
So we cry out...
Why have you forgotten me?
Why have you rejected me?
Why did you let my baby die?
Why did you let my husband get cancer?
Why did you take away my ability to walk?
Why didn't you save my marriage?
My God, my God, what good is your existence if you sit on your hands while my life is falling apart?
The suffering me becomes the questioning me becomes the doubting me. And that final "me" teeters on the brink of despair.
There are questions we pose to God, especially when we’re angry or hurt or despairing, that God will never answer. There is a side to him that will always remain cloaked in mystery.
It is actually better this way. If we had the answers, they wouldn't satisfy us. They wouldn't bring us peace. For us to try and understand the hidden part of God would be like a blind man setting out to map every inch of the world.
Beneath our interrogations of God is not really a desire for answers, anyway.
We don't crave answers but love.
And that's the side of himself God has made known to us. Made fully known, in fact. When we cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Christ answers, “My child, My child, I will never leave you, I will never forsake you. You may not feel me there but I am as close to you as the breath you breathe, nearer to you than the blood in your veins. I feel your body shake as you sob. I taste your tears. Lo, I am with you always, even to the brink of despair. Even when you plummet into the pit of unbelief, I am with you. When you are faithless, I will be faithful to you, for I cannot deny myself. When your hold on hope can’t last; when you’re haunted by your past; when you’re shunned as an outcast, I will hold you fast.”
The side of God he has made known to us is Jesus. He is the one and only revelation of the Father, the one and only revelation we need. @@Jesus doesn’t answer all our questions but he joins us in all our sufferings.@@ And he joins us to his own sufferings. He grafts us into the tree of his flesh, that the sap of his grace may flow into us and make us what he is.
Most importantly, he never gives up on us. We may kick and scream and cuss and fight, but when it’s all over, he hasn’t moved an inch away from us. He is not a fair weather God. @@He is not a God who leaves the wounded behind.@@ He is the Good Samaritan Savior, who dismounts, bathes and tends to our wounds, and carries us to the inn.
In the toughest times of my life I wished that God didn’t exist, as if that would make things better.
But even when our faith is weak, we have a Savior whose faith in his Father atones for our lack of faith.
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
But God says in his heart, “There is no fool that I don’t still love—yes, even you.”