In times of their duress, I have had people say to me, quite frequently, How could God have let this happen to me? or Why is God doing this to me? or Where is God in this? My answer is different for each person, depending on the exigent circumstances of the particular situation, but there is a strain of commonality that runs through my answers. One thing that all of my answers usually begins with is I don't know or I'm not sure.... followed by a discussion of my understanding of how God works in the world and how God does not work in the world.
Although I firmly believe in the efficacy of prayer, I believe as firmly that God takes our laundry lists of cares and desires and petitions that we set before the Almighty and responds in ways that we do not understand. Part of my understanding is based on "the long view". We are called to a lifetime's work, a lifetime's study, a lifetime's effort to effectuate the kingdom's presence among us here and now. Being human, we will only get glimpses of it, smidgens of it throughout that time. Having the deep roots Jesus talks about today in this parable of the sower is something we all have to work at and incorporate into our lives.
One more commonality of my response to the type of question I have posed to me frequently, about God doing something to someone or letting something happen to them or where God is in this difficult situation, is: look around you, look at the support you are receiving from those who love you. You will see God and glimpses of the kingdom right there.
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.