i have asked that question before. ive asked that question, or at least felt it rolling around in the back of my mind, many times since i have lived in tulsa. living here has been like being buried alive.
i was raised as a catholic initially, and went to a catholic grade school. the other kids tormented me almost the whole seven years i went there. the adults never intervened one time. i believed i was inferior. because of dyslexia and a slight depth perception problem, i wasnt too good with ball games at recess, so the other girls always argued over who would get stuck with me on their teams. i finally just quit playing. they all called me possum, because it sounded like my last name.
i did, however, have a teacher who, one time during religion class, told us that salvation was a choice. catholicism teaches that its automatic if youre baptized as a baby. there were other little things like that that happened while i was there. things that suggested God was interested in me. they didnt teach us that, and we never heard the Bible taught. we heard catholicism.
when i was 16 i asked Jesus to come into my heart. He did, and He said something to me that imprinted in my heart forever. He said “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”. many years later, when i actually read the Bible, i found those words are in there twice.
when i was 23 a gave my heart Him. i set out to know Him, and began to devour the Bible. in doing so, i found a God who was way different than i had been taught. i found He was different than most people think.
in the 27 years that have passed since then, i have found that God is always true to His word. He never fails to keep a promise.
for some people, it seems like God is there fulfilling His promises before they even need it. have you ever noticed that? have you thought, there must be something special about them?
why does it seem like He fails, or chooses not to, for the rest of us?
it seemed like He was a long way off when i was in grade school, enduring mental and emotional torment for those seven years. it seemed like it when i went to junior high, and got much of the same. with a step father who drank heavily, a step sister who bitterly hated me, and a mother who was disabled by depression, its no wonder i rebelled.
but why did i think God was far away? because i had been taught to from the beginning. not in so many words, maybe. but i had been taught to expect that God is hard to reach, harder to win over, and that expecting Him to be there was presumptuous. i was taught to have blind faith. ‘just trust’ meant, no matter what happens, youre expected to believe that God knows best so just put up with it. i was a little child, so i just believed what i was taught.
imagine if i had been taught what the Bible says.
the Bible says its God’s will for us to have days of heaven on earth. the Bible tells us to pray ‘Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven”. the Bible says to be imitators of God like beloved children, and that God calls things that are not as though they were. and then they are. and the Bible says that God will never leave us nor forsake us.
well, now i know what the Bible says. when i think back on those days, or when i face new ones, i know where God is. i know He is my covenant partner. i know how seriously He takes His word. i know how seriously i take His word. when i face things that seem to overwhelm me, and i feel like im going under, and i experience great loss or affliction, or when i need or want something, i remember what He has said about it … or i go find out what He has said about it. then i stand on that Word, and i dont let go until it comes to pass.
if i fail to receive His help on something, its on me, not on Him. He can restore the years the locusts have eaten.
where was God? He was there, trying to get to me.