Psalm 10:1: “O Lord, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble?”

When I visited my little niece and nephew in Germany a few years ago their favorite game was to play hide-and-seek. For some reason the oldest of children’s games is still quite popular. While playing games and hiding out is fun, a hiding God is not. Have you ever felt stuck in a situation wondering: “Where on earth is God?!” Welcome to the club of God-seekers!

When we are troubled in some way then we also know the feeling of helplessness creeping in when nothing seems to work – especially after praying (sometimes viewed as the last resort). Frustrated, the psalmist here prays (Psalm 10:1):

“God, why do you stand so far away? I’m over here! Why is it that you seem farthest away when I need you most?”

We have to come to terms with the fact that not everything about our mysterious God is explainable. – And I believe that this is a good thing, even though it may drive us crazy sometimes. Remember, God was here first; He preceded His creation; and since He has lived forever, His experience is simply enormous. Bearing that in mind, can we appreciate His complexity?

Speaking of complexity, even human beings are hard to predict, although we’re often tempted to. We see certain behavior patterns, and then we jump to conclusions. If we are seriously expecting people to always behave the same way then we’ll be quickly disappointed. People are a wildcard! The 1993 American fantasy comedy film “Groundhog Day” plays off of that notion.  In an effort to create a perfect date for a special lady, one of the main characters in the movie tries to win the girl’s favor by memorizing all her likes and dislikes. Spoiler alert (if you haven’t watched this movie yet): it ain’t working!

If figuring out people won’t work, how much less figuring out God!

Where does this leave us when we are frustrated with God’s apparent nonchalance? The best we can do is to hang in there. I’m a firm believer of venting in the privacy of my prayer closet. If venting to God prevents us from doing something stupid, then our prayers are already working.

God always listens to what we have to say, so if you are already praying, don’t give up just yet. And if you haven’t prayed yet, by all means, try it! Tell God how you feel. Be direct with Him. And as you pray, get ready for some curve-balls flying – because God is in the habit of answering prayers in most surprising ways!

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