In my years in ministry I have seen a lot of things.  I have seen God do absolute miracles.  I have seen people that were supposed to be dead according to doctors, totally healed.  I’ve seen the most vile people that I thought were hopeless be transformed into new creations that were the opposite of their past.  I’ve had God reveal Himself to me in ways that blow my mind.  PRETTY COOL STUFF!

On the flip side, I’ve also seen some things that my Masters Degree and my “Doctor of Ministry” just didn’t explain.

There have been times when I’ve questioned God.  I’ve never questioned his existence.  I have just wondered what in the world He was doing or not doing in certain situations. As I mentioned in my last post, I have even felt wrongly that I have to look out for His reputation at times when it seems that He didn’t come through.

Here are a few examples of what I mean:

  • Early in my ministry, I spent 3 nights sleeping at the foot of a hospital bed of a 2 year old little boy named Brandon.  His parents and I poured our hearts out constantly for his healing for those 3 days.  Our entire church was praying.  Brandon died.  God, where were you then?
  • I mentioned the miscarriages that Marla & I have experienced in my last post.  That was a hard time to work through.   Just didn’t seem “fair.”
  • I have a friend, Kyle Caddell, who has served God faithfully his whole life.  We played in the band, “U-Turn,” together, sharing Jesus in college.  Kyle later became a builder and was very generous with his money in helping people.  For the past 15 years Kyle has endured a tremendous amount of pain in his muscles and joints and the doctors don’t seem to know why or how to help.  He has now lost his home and can’t even work consistently because of the pain.  God, why is that?

Sometimes things happen that just don’t make sense to my little mind.  I could go into theological reasons as to why there is still evil in the world and possible reasons why God doesn’t always intercede, but that’s not really the intent of this post.   I can give a try at that later if some of you want me to do that.

I just wanted to say that if you know someone that is going through a time when things just don’t make sense, you don’t always have to have the answers.  What your friend needs most, even though they do want answers, is YOU.

Never is this more clear in Scripture thanthe book of Job.  In short, Job was hurting.  Though he had served God faithfully, God allowed Satan to strike him with boils all over his body. He didn’t even look like himself anymore.  He was actually scraping the boils off with broken pottery pieces.  (Job 2)

Job had 3 friends who loved him come by and they barely recognized him.  For 7 whole days, the four friends sat, cried, and were just there with job.  I believe they really ministered to his soul by their presence.  Then it all began to fall apart.  They opened their mouths.  They said some of the most ridiculous things trying to explain why things were happening to Job.  When their mouths opened, their cluelessness was discovered.

Our friends don’t always need us to have all of the answers.  What they need is our presence.  They need to know that someone representing God cares about them.   Sometimes they need to see God with skin on- that would be His representative or His Ambassador.  That means YOU!

I remember one occasion when a friend was going through a divorce.  Myself and another believer went to minister to the hurting friend.  I felt bad.  I didn’t know what to say.  I didn’t say much but just listened as my friend talked about his pain.  I was so thankful that my other friend with the answers was there.  He seemed to have a lot of words and input into the situation.

The next day, the hurting friend called to tell me that he was thankful that I WAS THERE.  Bewildered, I thought, “I didn’t have any answers.”

My friend told me, “I appreciated the way that you just sat with me, listened, and didn’t say a word.”  (He said that the other guy talked way too much.)

When we don’t have the answers for people, we always have ourselves.  Just be there when they need you.  When everyone else is running away, BE THERE.

When there just aren’t any answers, BE THERE.  Sometimes your presence says everything that needs to be said.

Have there been things in your life that you just had to trust God as you walked through it, even though you didn’t understand?

Who really helped your soul through it?