Have you ever felt that there is just so much going on right now, and none of it is going right, that you wonder if God took a vacation? The world is a cursed place, and I think, because often God will bless us with good times, we forget that. When the day is sunny, just the right temperature, and we are with loved ones enjoying ourselves, we forget about all the strife in the world, war, diseases, bigotry, etc. All we are thinking about is how much fun we are having and how wonderful life is.
Then reality hits, and we think, “How can God allow this to happen to me?”
Sometimes it seems that the Almighty is mighty…far away!
Do you know that poetic story, the one about the man and God walking side-by-side on the beach? I think it is called, “Footprints in the Sand.” It tells of a man walking with God, seeing both sets of footprints in the sand, when suddenly as troubles come upon the man he sees only one set of footprints in the sand. Later, after the troubles are gone, he sees two sets of footprints, again. He asks God, ‘Where were you when I needed you? I only saw my footprints in the sand”, and God answered, lovingly, “My child, those were My footprints- during those times of trouble I was carrying you.”
We can’t see the wind, but we can feel it’s presence and see it’s effect. Sometimes the wind is so light you can barely feel it, and other times it seems to not be there at all; we don’t feel the slightest hint of a breeze. But the wind is still there. And other times the wind is so strong that we can’t stand in its presence. At the worst, the wind can be deadly.
Yet, it is always the same thing- it is air. It is all around us, always. Without the air, we die. And when the air is in motion, it is the wind, and we can then most acutely feel its presence.
That is how it is with God. He is always there, He is always surrounding us, and when He moves we can sense His presence.
God doesn’t need us to do anything for Him to move, and often He will show His presence in astounding ways without us doing anything. He will bless us when we don’t expect it, or He may allow us to fall under the cursed world in order to test us. He does what He wants to do, when He wants to do it, and if He doesn’t want to do something, who can make Him do it? No one. This is one of the truths about God that many people refuse to accept, which is a wedge between them and their salvation: God does what He wants to do and we can’t do anything about that. We can’t make God do anything, but we can influence Him.
We can influence Him into action through faithful prayer. When we come under tsouris (problems) and feel that God must have abandoned us, we need to remember that the wind is never gone, even when we can’t feel it. It just isn’t moving. There are many factors that can affect the wind and cause it to stir, but there is only one thing that we need in order to cause God to move- faithful prayer. When people ask for a sign, or atheists and agnostics say they need to see proof of God’s existence, they just don’t understand about wind. When you move air, it causes wind, and the winds’ effects can be seen, proving that it is there. With God, faithful prayer is the fan that moves Him into action, and His actions are the proof that He exists. The reason these people don’t see proof of God is because they have no faith. They can have all the proof they will ever need, but they won’t do what is necessary. It is as the prophets have said: they have ears but cannot hear, and eyes but cannot see.
I loved the Three Stooges. I especially remember when Moe would poke Curly in the eyes and Curly would cry out,”Moe! Larry! I can’t see! I can’t see!” and when Moe and Larry asked what’s wrong, Curly smiled and said, “‘Cause my eyes are closed.” That’s when Moe would slap him across the head. Exactly what I think many people in the world need today- a good slap to the head while screaming in their ears, “WAKE UP!!! You’re almost out of time and you’d better stop this foolishness.”
Did you know that when the Bible refers to foolishness it doesn’t mean making funny faces and performing silly antics? It refers to people who refuse to accept God’s existence and power. The Biblical definition of a foolish person is one who rejects God.
We all suffer dry spells, we all go through our own “desert”, and sometimes we find ourselves back in the same desert over and over. Yet, even the most desolate desert has wind.
God is always here. I read once the ancient Rabbi’s said that it is impossible for God to go down to Earth because He is already there. He is everywhere, all the time, and the reason we don’t see Him is because we are too stubborn or too hardhearted to be able to see Him. Just like air, God is all around us, even when we don’t feel His presence.
If you want to know His presence, faithfully pray to Him. Fan the Lord with your faith, prod Him with your prayers, and watch Him move mountains for you.