I will have nothing to do with a God who cares only occasionally. I need a God who is with us always, everywhere, in the deepest depths as well as the highest heights. It is when things go wrong, when good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, that God is most present. We do not need the sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly. –Madeleine L’Engle
My middle schooler has been stumbling along this week, in need of a God who will not let him fall. He has been stretching and growing in painful but maturing ways. As if the tragedy of the weekend were not enough at once, he caught a stomach bug Sunday night and came home from school yesterday with more bad news. Sadly, he reported that his favorite teacher has had to resign due to health issues and her son, who sits next to him in class and is a favorite school buddy, will be changing schools. My knee-jerk reaction is to want to protect him from the pain and make everything all better. But a kiss and a superman band-aid don’t fix the hurt anymore. My bigger kids experience bigger pain, and the only solution is to point them to the God who is bigger than their pain.
Our human tendency in weeks like this is to scream, “Why, God?”, but it is when we stop screaming and start listening that we begin to understand. God is still there, even closer in the darkness, clinging to us in our struggle. When we ask, “Why, God?” not out of anger but out of a heart ready to learn how to grow through the pain then we will feel His presence every step of the way. And then we begin to experience just how big our God is.