Coco Calling No. 98 - Where is God Right Now?
I normally like to open these blogs with a spot of parrot humour and frivolity. But as things have become so difficult for human beings around the world, I’ve decided that I’d better be serious this week. So serious in fact, that I’m going to open with a reference to my least favourite human being, Josef Stalin.
Stalin is reputed to have said that “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” Mercifully, human deaths from the Coronavirus haven’t got anywhere near the million mark yet, but as the daily death tolls are announced on the radio and television, it’s all too easy for us to focus on the figures rather than the underlying tragedy that they represent. Individual lives cut short. Families left bereaved. Overstretched care staff working frantically hard, but having their morale squashed on an almost hourly basis. These are very challenging times for all humanity.
And it’s when tragedy strikes on this kind of scale that we suddenly find ourselves asking some very difficult questions. For example, “Where is God when we most need Him?” “Why can’t He suddenly appear in front of us to help and reassure us?” And, “If there really is a kind, loving God in charge, why on earth did He allow this to happen to humankind in the first place?”
Well, I guess that none of us alive here on Earth are existing in a “Garden of Eden” situation. For all of the good things about life, there are also threats, menace and tragedy lurking in the shadows. It’s the way of the world, and it’s what Jesus Himself experienced when He was put to death on the cross. Our existence in this world isn’t what our creation is all about. We should all be focussing on the next one. Heaven. Eternity. Becoming a part of God’s family.
And sometimes, we need to look at ourselves in the mirror, and ask why we only cry out to God when our need is at its greatest. Why don’t we focus on God during both good times and bad? Because if we can only do that, we will be much better equipped to take the rough with the smooth. We need to enjoy a living, daily, spiritual relationship with God irrespective of what else is going on in our lives. And like all relationships, it’s something that we need to work on over a period of time. We can’t simply expect a deep, trusting relationship to materialise between God and ourselves every time we confront a crisis.
This is where so many of us, -Christians, non-Christians, men, women and even parrots, -are guilty of taking God and our Christian faith for granted at various stages of our lives. And mercifully for all of us, God will always love and forgive us for our waywardness. But the onus will always be upon us to work on our relationship with Him. We must “seek” in order “to find.” To look beyond the superficial things of life which simply serve to occupy and amuse us, to the deeper, more meaningful and spiritual essence of God’s presence and love.
You see, from the moment we are hatched or born, our lives should be about looking, searching, discovering and developing that deeper, spiritual part of our makeup. Because that’s how we come to know the presence of God in our lives. That’s when we start to see everything from an entirely different perspective. And that’s when we start to trust Him. Trust Him, come what may. During both the best and very darkest of times……
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)