And Then God Showed Up

We hear that often as we go through our lives. Stories like, “My life was just so messed up, all this bad stuff was happening. And then God showed up!” The question that brings to my mind is – if God had to “show up,” where was He before then?

To me, if God has to “show up,” then that makes for a very limited god. “Sorry I was late guys, left the office late, then I got stuck in traffic, and …” That just doesn’t sit right with me. If God isn’t with us during the most troubling times of our lives, and then just decides to show up at the end, what does that say about Him or His faithfulness?

God never says stuff like, “I’ll be there when I feel like it,” or “You’ll see me when you’ll see me.” Rather, He promises things like “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” [Hebrews 13:5] He tells us, “…Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [Matthew 28:20b] So if God has to “show up,” that either makes Him incompetent or a liar. And the idea that He would be absent when we need Him the most doesn’t bring to mind thoughts of a loving Father. Rather, it brings to mind the idea of a cruel “friend.”

I think something different is going on. Sometimes when we go through difficult times, it’s so easy to focus on what’s happening – all we can see is this “storm” that’s raging all around us. We become so focused on what’s happening that we fail to notice the loving Arms wrapped around us, we fail to hear the loving Voice that speaks to us, “I’m here. I love you. I won’t ever leave you. Trust me.”

I know how hard it can be to look away from what’s happening in our lives sometimes, especially in very difficult times. But know this: God doesn’t need to show up in our circumstances. He’s already here. Sometimes, we just need to alter our focus in order to be able to see Him.