I was wondering, the other day, how many times our Creator has been asked the question, “God! Where are you?” I would venture to say we’ve all asked this question many times over, in many different ways.
Sometimes we intend to question the nature of God, or His existence. Other times, it’s a question more intended as a statement of despair and complaint: If God is everywhere, why is it that we never get so much as a glimpse of Him, especially when we need Him?
My grandma, who was about eighty-six years old at the time Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the moon, may well have been the first moon-walk denier. She, being blind and unable to even see the video, believed that God would never allow humans into “his” domain, because, of course, God lived “up there”, in heaven-in space-which was somewhere above the clouds. It was all a hoax, she was convinced, as some conspiracy theorists and America-haters are convinced now. She was a wonderful woman, and a true Christian, but just lacked a little understanding.
What about it? Is God “up there” floating around in the sky, like some Michelangelo painting? Most of us who have any real faith (as I’m sure Michelangelo had) know in our better moments that our God is all around us. We’re told as much many times over in Scripture. Solomon said:
The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you (1 Kings 8:27).
The heaven of heavens is a pretty big place. God is so “big”, if such a word can be used in regard to God, that the universe itself cannot contain Him: a logical conclusion of the consideration that God made it. He cannot be confined by it. It cannot confine Him because He is not a physical entity. Any creation cannot be greater than its creator.
So if God is so mind-bogglingly vast, why can’t we see him? My nut-shell answer is that we are a part of the limited creation. Our intelligence is limited. We occupy three dimensions only; four if you count time. Our Creator, in contrast, who alone know all things, cannot be restricted to such a puny number of dimensions, since he made this physical realm: He has to be pan-dimensional. And his essence transcends all of time, along with all other attributes of our cosmos. He alone knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).
Paul tells us that Jesus Christ, “being in nature God”, holds every particle of our universe together (Colossians 1:17). Without Him, there would be no universe, and no natural laws to make it all function. His being and essence, then, are so far beyond our very minimal, limited capabilities, that we are totally unable to detect Him in any physical sense, unless His presence affects how we feel, or if He arranges for a representation of His being to come into contact with us. We can no more get our puny minds around God than an ant could understand relativity. You could try explaining it to that little creature on your front lawn, but he’s not going to take much of it in.
We humans think so much of ourselves that we tend to try to bring God down to our level of understanding. In reality, it’s impossible for us to comprehend Him fully. And even beyond this, His perfection of character, His holiness and intelligence in every respect is so much above our fallen human nature, that we are not permitted to see Him. If we did see Him, we would die from the searing, overwhelming, incredible experience. He told Moses:
…you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live (Exodus 33:20)
Amazingly and excitingly for us, since God’s power holds all things in the physical and in the spiritual universe together, it means that:
…he is not far from any one of us (Acts 17:27).
It’s my conviction that when we ask the question, “Where is God?” in a moment or a time of despair, our God completely understands where we’re coming from-emotionally speaking. He doesn’t get mad with us or even roll His eyes. After all, His own son asked that very question, or at least a variant of it, as his life-blood was draining away on the cross:
“My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)
Jesus was quoting, unintentionally, the prophetic words of David, from a thousand years before:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish? (Psalm 22:1).
And far from being chastised for lack of faith, David was commended:
God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart (Acts 13:22).
God is not all things. He is not the universe, and He is not Lucas’ “Force”. But He is all around us, and in those of us who love Him.