Where is God when we cry?
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest. – Psalm 22:1-2 (NRSV)
Have you ever felt like crying out like this? What was going on in your life? How bad was it? Where was God when you made this cry? Did this cry ever pass?Where is God When We Cry
The following story has been sent to me before, and I have since discovered that it is a Fred Craddock story.
Nettie and I got acquainted in Chautauqua, N.Y., with a minister who had no arms. He was born with nothing from here. No arms. He was telling us one day there at Chautauqua the experience of learning to put on his own clothes without any arms. He said his mother always dressed him, and he’d gotten to be a pretty big boy. She fed him, she dressed him, she fed him, she dressed him. One day she put his clothes in the middle of the floor and said, “Dress yourself.”
He said, “I can’t dress myself, I don’t have…”
She said, “You’ll have to dress yourself,” and she left the room.
He said, “I kicked, I screamed, I kicked, I screamed, I yelled, ‘You don’t love me anymore!’ Finally, I realized that, if I were to get any clothes on, I’d have to get my clothes on.” After hours of struggle, he got some clothes on. He said, “It was not until later that I knew my mother was in the next room crying.”
I don’t know if God distances God’s self from us, but I know sometimes we feel distant.
Maybe God seems far away because there are times that God wants to make sure we know we can do what seems impossible to us. God isn’t really far away at all, just waiting for us to figure out that we can do things we never knew we could. So we cry out in our anger and our pain until we cannot cry anymore. Then looking at whatever obstacle is in front of us we charge ahead. And that is the answered prayer. Not that God does it for us, but that God just lets us be long enough to figure out that we can do it for ourselves, that we are stronger than we ever knew, that we are capable of the impossible, and God knows what else.
So let cry our cries and shout our shouts, sooner or later we may find out that God was there the whole time.