I was wondering how many times our Creator has been asked the question, “God! Where are you”?
We all ask this question at times in our lives, for different reasons and with different motives. For example, it can be a rhetorical question, when people think that since God can’t be seen physically pushing the planets around the sun, or rolling out weather systems, or tinkering with alignments of electrons, he obviously isn’t there at all. The question can also be one of desperation or of despair or complaint. Where is He when we need him? If you haven’t asked that question, you aren’t human.
Is God “up there” floating around in the sky somewhere, like some Michelangelo painting? Is He hiding behind the moon, or in a place so far away in space that even astronomers can’t spot him?
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, and it includes the space-time realm that we occupy now: it’s all one. God is so “big”, if such a word can be used in regard to God, that the universe itself cannot contain Him. God made it, and He is therefore greater than it. He cannot be confined by it. The physical universe can’t restrict Him, because He is not a physical entity. Any creation cannot be greater than its creator.
We’re limited in time, space, perception and intelligence. We occupy three dimensions only; four if you count time-all physical dimensions-and we just aren’t able so see beyond our limited domain. Our Creator, in contrast, who alone know all things, cannot be restricted to such a small number of dimensions, since he made this physical realm: He has to be pan-dimensional by choice, and outside of all dimensions by his essence, including time. 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 unless 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 understand a bit of it.
We humans think so much of ourselves that we tend to try to bring God down to our level of understanding. We live in a physical realm, so we naturally expect to experience Him in physical ways. 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).
And since God created us and all around us, it means that we can see evidence of His handiwork all around us, and make deductions about what He is like.
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.