closer than we think
“Why standest Thou afar off, O LORD?” Psalm 10:1
In crisis, we wonder, where is God? How could He allow me, or mine, to go through this trial? And why can’t I sense Him here with me?
One of my favorite books, Great Verses Through The Bible by F. B. Meyer, offers a devotional for one verse from every chapter in The Bible. This one, addressing how alone we feel in troubles, is too good not to share. Press thru his older, more formal language; you’ll be glad you did:
“Men in sorrow do not always speak wisely; and they ask many questions which God does not answer. Here is one. God does not stand afar off and hide Himself in times of trouble. As the psalmist sings, in a happier mood, “He is a very present help in time of trouble.” But He permits trouble to pursue us, as though He were indifferent to its overwhelming pressure; that we may be brought to an end of ourselves and led to discover the treasures of darkness, the unmeasurable gains of tribulations. No cross, no crown. No pain, no gain.
We may be sure that He who permits the suffering is with us in it. The form of The Fourth may be hard to distinguish, but it is there in the fire (Daniel 3). It may be that we shall only see Him when the trial is passing; but we must dare to believe that He never leaves the crucible. Our eyes are holden; and we cannot behold Him whom our soul loveth. It is dark – the bandages blind us so that we cannot see the form of our High Priest. But He is there, deeply touched. Let us not rely on feeling, but on faith in His unswerving fidelity; and though we see Him not, let us talk to Him in whispers as though we could detect Him.
“I take the pain, Lord Jesus, from Thine own hand,
The strength to bear it bravely, Thou wilt command.”
Directly we begin to speak to Jesus, as being literally present, though His presence is veiled, there comes an answering voice which shows that He is in the shadow, keeping watch upon His own. Do not be afraid of the darkness. Behind the cloud, the sun is shining. Little child, your Father is as near when you journey through the dark tunnel as when under the open heaven! Go nearer, and you will feel Him!”