Our inclination to wonder where God is at in personal or global disasters, sufferings, war, crises, etc., may arise from a blind spot that causes our inability to see good in them. Suffering is a great teacher. It is the crucible in which the dross of illusion is burned away; and this is the process by which we move closer to You.
When we are happy, free of cares and everything seems to be going along just great we are not prone to ask: “Where is God in all this?” We take it for granted that such blessings are the way things should be. When suffering and disaster filter in, we begin to think we’ve lost touch with You when, in fact, we may be even closer to You. I think we need to take the long view of such times and reflect upon the many ways good may come from them.
Most of the times that I recall being annoyed, frustrated, exasperated and/or hurting, are times, in hindsight, when I learned something, I grew, I found something of good in the experience. Therefore it seems to me that that blind spot which causes our inability to see good in something disastrous or painful is the present perception of it. We are too close to the moment of pain to even consider the patience necessary to view it over the long run. But that is what is needed. What is immediate lacks context. With time we come to insert the episode into a context. From that context, that broader view, what seemed painful may indeed be viewed differently – even positively. There should, then, be caution about making any judgments about the undesirability of such times.
To say, “Where is God?” in our times of distress is to discount the gospel message that God knows what we need before we even ask. The possibility that what we need maynot be what we want gives us the chance to defer to God, to let go and accept what we would not choose – even to embrace it, knowing full well that what we perceive as the rocks and shoals in the storm of life may result in safe harbor. The agony of defeat often precedes the thrill of victory – Gethsemane teaches this!