What a time to be alive in the world right now. We are living through a pandemic and simultaneously watching or participating in an uprising against injustice against black people across the world. Everywhere we turn there seems to be more turmoil, more chaos, more confusion, more hurt, more pain, and more loss.
There are so many emotions we are all trying to process. There are so many solutions we are all trying to generate. There are so many frustrations we are all wanting to give a voice to. Yet, there seems to be no general sense of cohesiveness regarding how we collectively and strategically come together to be the most effective in our efforts. So we individually try to find whatever methods we can to remedy the hurts in our hearts, some more constructive than others. And we individually try to figure out how we can do our small part to contribute to the betterment of both conditions- the condition of our physical health (COVID-19) and the condition of racism and hatred that has allowed police brutality and other oppressive systems to systematically destroy black bodies.
Amongst all of the craziness, injustice, and loss during this time, it can be easy to feel like God is absent. I must admit that I have had many moments with God over the last few days alone where I’ve looked at these circumstances and the present state of this world and questioned God. I mean, I know all things are supposed to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28), but please explain to me God how exactly the systematic murdering of black people in this country is going to work together for the good? Where is the justice you claim to stand for? Where is the peace you promise to give? Why do you keep allowing them to hurt us? Is anyone else feeling what I’m feeling?
But then I was led to Psalms 13 where David spends the first 4 verses crying out to God. He asks God why he is being forgotten and ignored. He laments about the anguish he carries in his heart daily. He begs for God to answer his cries to be delivered from the hand of his enemies who seem to have the upper hand and rejoice at his downfall. David is hurting. He is tired. He is confused. He longs for help and answers from a God he feels is not near. Sound familiar?
But praise God the chapter doesn’t end there! Psalms 13:5-6:
5 But I trust your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
6 I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.
Despite what David may have seen in the natural realm and felt in his heart, ultimately He chose to make a declaration based on who he knew God was. He knew God too intimately to doubt Him, even in the midst of all the turmoil going on in His life.
Like David, we too must learn to declare who God is in the midst of our situations instead of letting our situations cause us to doubt who God is and His presence in our lives. Our circumstances cannot be the measuring stick of God’s love for us. God’s love for us was demonstrated when while we were yet in our sins He died on the cross for us (Romans 5:8). Thus, turmoil and struggle don’t equate to a lack of love, nor do they equate to an absence of His presence.
God hasn’t abandoned us in the midst of the chaos and confusion. God isn’t turning a blind eye to the injustice and mistreatment. He hasn’t left us to face our fear, frustration, sorrow, and heartache alone. He’s right here in the trenches with us. Psalms 34:18 tells us, “The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He delivers those who are discouraged,” and because the depth of our pain is so deep I honestly believe God is closer to us now than He’s ever been. He wants us to share our hurt with Him. He wants to carry our burdens. He wants to heal our hearts.
Don’t take what seems like God’s silence in this season as a sign of His absence. Instead, see a Father who understands that His children are hurting and is taking a pause to allow them to express the entirety of what’s in their hearts before He acts on their behalf. Your Heavenly Father hears you, sees you, and cares deeply for you. Lean into Him and let Him give you the comfort you need to sustain you through these trying times. Remember, weeping may endure for the night, but joy will come in the morning (Psalms 30:5).