In my weakness, he is strong. In my weakness, he is my joy. In my weakness, is he gone? I remember so vividly when a girl I had been dating for a year broke up with me. This break up really destroyed me. I thought I had everything together, and I was so happy that a girl would take the time to even show that they cared for me, besides those family and friends that obviously did.
In the moment of what I thought was a massive catastrophe in my life, I asked the question: where is God? When I was dating this girl, this question seemed to be non-existent. But now, in the climax of my pain, it seemed to me that God was not around. This was a dark time for me where I not only questioned myself, but my faith as well. I would take long drives by myself, and as the miles passed by I would talk and ask God: where are you? Why did you do this to me? Don’t you care about my feelings? Don’t you want me to be happy?
I yelled at God and I was angry with him for all the pain in my life, for everything that was going wrong, and for not providing me with relief from the situation. I think this is important in our weakness. So often I see how I hold back what I am feeling from God because I am afraid of some kind of judgment from him or reprimand for getting angry at God, but I don’t think God wants me to hold back – even the messy, ugly, raw parts of me like my anger or sadness. It’s when I hold back that I don’t fully give my problems to God. It’s easy to hide these emotions because it is hard for me to believe he could fix them. When I can begin to let go of this pain to God, he begins to help me understand where he has been the whole time.
In my time of pain, I began to learn just how close God had been to me. In my weakness, God was with me in my decision. In my weakness, God provided friends I wouldn’t have met had I still been in this relationship. In my weakness, God pushed me to apply to be a camp counselor. In my weakness, God showed me my errors: errors that revealed my true intentions for being in the relationship, errors of what was important to me. In my weakness, I had nothing, and in my weakness he made me something.
God showed me that in my weakness he isn’t in front of me or behind me, but he is right beside me. Because God is everywhere, I believe he is with me. In times of pain, it is easy to lose faith, and it is easy for me to turn my back on everything I believe. But in these times where I often say, God, where are you? Christ shows us that he was there the entire time, all we sometimes need to do is reflect on where he has already been. It is when we begin to reflect that I think we become aware of his presence in our lives.
In Genesis 3:8-13 it says, “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” What I realized from this time of reflection, is not ‘Where is God?’ but ‘Where am I?’ In my time of trouble, I began to understand that God is not some far off person that doesn’t care about my problems, or someone that is hiding from me. But, as Genesis 3:8-13 is saying someone I am hiding from. Because when I asked God where he was, he asked me where am I and revealed to me that he was next to me the whole time.