Every person is faced with this question at various stages of life; is God still around? I think throughout difficult seasons it is normal to ask this question. In fact, we find this question when we read the Bible.
Judges 6 reads, “And the angel of the LORD appeared to him (Gideon) and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.” And Gideon said to him, “Please, sir, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” (Judges 6:12-13 ESV)
The book of Judges happens at a time when Israel had no king, but God appointed individuals to be a judge for the nation. Israel was caught up in a constant pattern of negative life-turns. They had just made one of those choices and were now under oppression by the Midianites. The Midianites were taking their crops and leaving Israel’s land in desolation. Gideon was scared. Gideon felt hopeless. Gideon felt like God had abandoned his family. Gideon probably wondered if God was still.
He grew up hearing the stories of how God delivered the nation of Israel from 400 years of slavery in Egypt. He heard the stories of providing manna in the desert. He heard stories from his parents and grandparents about God’s providence for generations before him.
Yet, this didn’t seem like the same God. Something was missing. Things were not the way they were supposed to be and Gideon assumed God had left.
Aren’t we all there at some point in life?
The best part of Gideon’s life is that God met him in that place. God didn’t get mad that Gideon questioned His presence. God didn’t kill Gideon for wondering if God was still around. God didn’t scold Gideon for hiding in times of uncertainty.
Instead of all the things God could have done in that moment, he said to Gideon, ““The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.”
Gideon still questions God’s presence even when He is standing right before Gideon. God is patient through the entire conversation.
The part that I love the most about this story is that God uses Gideon to become a champion for Israel. God always had Gideon’s best interest in mind. God revealed to Gideon one step of the process at a time. In the end, Gideon experienced the overwhelming victory that only comes when we trust in God’s presence.
Today, I encourage you to grab (or google) a Bible and read Judges 6-8. I think the entire of Gideon will allow you to see God’s presence. It doesn’t matter if you are having a good week or a bad week. God will reveal Himself to you!
If you’re struggling today, I invite you to write down some ways that God’s presence has been clear to you in the past. I think remembering the past will help you see God’s presence in the present and the future.
Life is a journey. The journey is much easier when you and I allow God to be part of it.
If you have questions about God and you can walk your journey with God, send me an email. I’d love to talk.