Is God far away from us in our lowest moments?
Certainly an honest question when so much of our lives are filled with disappointments, personal tragedies, and uncertain outcomes of crucial importance.
Perhaps the most devastating time for anyone can be seen with the loss of a loved one, especially a child at any age. When we lost our son at age 46 those he left were heart broken, confused in spite of the fact his liver was failing, and most of all the emptiness his death left with those closest to him. That question would fit the moment, even though we all knew the end was close.
Place yourself in the midst of any tragedy where another human being will no longer be around, and what can anyone say that eases the loneliness their absence creates. When we struggle to ascertain what this all means and yes what does God’s plan have to do with this experience?
Around the year 33 A.D. God’s only Son was arrested, scourged, crowned as a criminal and made to carry his means of execution to Calvary, nailed to it and left to die an excruciating death. As his Mother and a few close followers, including John, painfully watched; Was His Father missing? Paul’s mother, one sister, and I were with him as he passed, there was a peace that seemed to envelop our presence. We were there. What about Jesus as he was lowered into the arms of his mother and carried to a borrowed tomb. Where was His Father?
Many days my wife and I make visits to Paul’s grave, sitting and sharing the loss of Paul in peace, but still heartbroken that he left us so young. After the body of Jesus was buried soldiers were placed at the entrance to ensure his followers didn’t try to remove his remains. Was His Father nearby?
In our darkest moments during life’s struggles especially times when an imminent disaster is about to erupt, we call on God for protection and safety from a certain outcome. Is He near at that low moment?
The answer to all the questions of God’s presence and his concern for us and the incident at Calvary is an astounding Yes! In spite of what we’ve heard or even thought God is 100 % beside us as He was with His only Son as He was dying on the Cross.
At our lowest moments in life is when God is ever closest to us. The lowest moment in the life of Jesus was right before he took his final breath. The Father’s loving arms of a loving and forgiving God were already surrounding the broken body of His only Son.
As the Father God was embracing His Son Jesus, he also is embracing each of us during our emptiness and loneliness period during the lowest moment of our life.
Ralph B. Hathaway, When God is closest to us.