I am asked this question often. I hear it from individuals struggling to overcome addiction, those who experience the death of an infant, unexpected tragic loss of life or the suicide of a loved one. Also, I hear it when we experience violent behavior and abuse in the workplace, school shootings, bullying in school and church shootings. I know firsthand the excruciating emotional pain associated with some of these life situations. When prompted to respond on this question I have struggled. I know in these situations there is nothing I can say to alleviate the pain distancing individuals from intimacy with God. I can say, I have been able to offer encouragement and hope that if they pursue His truth they will find comfort and purpose. This comfort and purpose could be the first time in their life or a reunion. It seems to bring some peace in either situation. Recently, acknowledging where God is not, comes easier.
Meet Kevin J Cochran. Born in Shreveport, Louisiana he now resides in Atlanta, Georgia. He has served as US Fire Administrator, Fire Chief of Atlanta Fire Department as well as an Author and speaker. These are only a few of his accomplishments. After a review of his work by government officials, it was found he had showed no bias toward any group or persons during his 30 years of service. Only after some employees received his book was he suspended from his job. In his book “Who Told You That You Were Naked” Cochran used the KJV Bible as his foundation while producing the literary work. After a two- year legal battle, his firing was upheld by a US District Court Judge. Our Supreme Court laws regarding humane life seems intent on removing God as well. It would suffice to say that God is becoming less and less present in the United States legal system and their rulings. Another place where God is not wanted is the public school system. However, that has not always been true.
From 1840 to 1844 there was great debate concerning the Bible in public school curriculum. In 1844 a unanimous decision by the United States Supreme Court upheld the centrality of godly teaching in the public school system. The decision reads as follows:
“Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as a Divine revelation in the (school)—its general precepts expounded…and its glorious principles of morality inculcated?…Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament? Where are benevolence, the love of truth, sobriety, and industry, so powerfully and irresistibly inculcated as in the Sacred Volume?” (US Supreme Court, Vidal vs. Girard’s Executor, 1844)
Meet Sam Blackledge. He is an eighteen-year-old Valedictorian at West Prairie High School. He worked four years to earn the privilege of speaking to his graduating class during the commencement ceremony in 2018. Allegedly, he was first told to refrain from making any speech.
After his attorney contacted the school he was given permission to do a “generic” speech with no religious context. In his speech he posed the question; where in history has an event that highlighted evil, justice, love and forgiveness converged? The he asks, Can I take you to a hill called Calvary? He concluded, as you search for justice, love and forgiveness, know that only God is big enough to provide that for you. It is my belief that Sam was sharing his own personal experience which he believes propelled him to this point in life and if he continues he will find even more ways to expose justice, love and forgiveness. It is apparent that God is less and less wanted even in conversation at our schools. So back to my original question; Where is God?
After writing this I think the question might well be, “Where are you with God?” As an individual, how we address and respond to this question is in direct proportion to knowing where He resides. I have written very little on my opinion regarding such issues and shared very little publicly. I have kept my opinion to myself with hopes of being a source of hope for all who come to me for guidance in their life. I try to find balance in all that I need to consider with the Words of God as my influence. Even though I have failed and fallen short many times, I ask, “What does my relationship with God encourage me to do in this situation?” You may not choose to do this with your life, however, when you are confronted with the situations mentioned above, how will you answer? I believe the question is more important than the answer. The question is not, “Where is God?” but it should be: “Where am I with God on these decisions?”