December 04, 2020

Where Is God When It Hurts?

Psalm 139:1-12

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you . . . for darkness is as light to you.”

—  Psalm 139:11-12

Several years ago someone in our community took her own life. Her family was devastated and had a lot of questions. Was God with her in the last moments of her life? Was she right with God when she died? She had been a Christian all her life. Was God’s hand still on her, as David puts it in Psalm 139:5?

People often ask, Where is God during the darkest moments of our lives? Where is God when someone who loves the Lord reaches a point where it seems impossible to go on living? David gives an answer to that question. God is where we are, even in our darkest moments. If we have ever reached a point where we can’t find a trace of God, he is still there. And when we grope around in total darkness, even that darkness is not dark to God. God never leaves us even in our deepest hurts or in the darkest moments of our lives.

A Dutch minister tells about a Christmas “celebration” in a Japanese concentration camp during World War II. Standing behind the barracks and shiver­ing in the cold, the group of prisoners he was with felt the presence of the Lord more than at any time before.

The Lord Jesus came into our darkness to assure us that he will never leave us or forsake us. And sometimes we can see God more clearly when we hurt the most.

Lord Jesus, thank you for coming into our darkness and for being with us even in our darkest moments. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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