It had been one of those days where everything appeared to be going wrong. We only had 360 km to drive, but between secondary roads, creeping through numerous small towns, road construction, and slow-moving vehicles on the road with no passing zones, the kilometres were going down very slowly. Then, on a rare stretch of road without any of the above-mentioned annoyances, I lost track of my speed. Unfortunately, the policeman in the area did not… It’s while receiving the speeding ticket that we discovered the proof of insurance for our car was expired. Then we needed to stop for gas and the gas pump “ate” my credit card, making it necessary to enter the building not once, but twice. Not a big deal under normal circumstances, but during a COVID pandemic, it became a much more grave set of circumstances. Then of course, the campground where we would be staying for the next week put us on a tenting site with our trailer… There was water, but no sewer and poor electricity. Naturally, due to the pandemic, we didn’t feel comfortable using the campground bathrooms and had been relying on the fact that we would be able to use the bathroom in our small trailer… Next, when we opened up the trailer we discovered that one of the cupboards had come open on route, spilling all of our food across the floor… No, it wasn’t the best of days…
Where is God in times like this?
Sure you say, it could have been much worse, and you’re right. And where is God in those worse times?
David knew. And he found himself in far worse situations than my “bad” day… “Day and night, my tears have been my food. People are always saying, ‘Where is your God?’” (Ps. 42:3 NCV)
David’s response exemplifies how we need to react in these situations: “As a deer thirsts for streams of water, so I thirst for you, God. I thirst for the living God. When can I go to meet with Him?” (Ps. 42:1-2 NCV).
David knew that the solution is to thirst for God, to seek Him above all else; for when we do, we will begin asking ourselves, just as David did: “Why am I so sad? Why am I so upset? I should put my hope in God and keep praising Him, my Savior and my God.” (Ps. 42:5 NCV).
Does this work? Is it some kind of a psychological game? You know what I mean: When we think positive thoughts it improves our mood, right?
There were two other related things that happened on my road trip that day. Since this was a trip that took several hours, there was a time or two when we really needed to answer nature’s call; and due to the severity of the COVID pandemic in our area, we were trying really hard to not go into places such as public bathrooms. Neither of us is opposed to using “natural” bathrooms (aka “hiding behind a tree”), but you truly don’t want to do this on the side of a busy highway. After we had been driving for about three hours, I just couldn’t wait any longer. I cried out to God, “Please Lord, send us a ‘natural toilet’!” I glanced up from my prayer to see a picnic area sign on the side of the road. Sure enough, about 50 meters farther was a private place where we could pull off. Besides the public portable toilets, there were also plenty of the ‘natural’ variety!
About three hours later, as we were nearing our campground, that urge for a ‘natural toilet’ again came over us. Again I cried out the same prayer, and again, the same response: A picnic area just down the road with ‘natural toilets’ abounding.
Some would call it that. After all, those picnic areas had been there for 10-20 years. God obviously didn’t just place them there when I prayed for them!
Is that what prayer is? Is it just a “feel good” kind of thing that gets us by until our “coincidence” shows up?
Again, some would say so. As I contemplated all of this, however, I realized something profound: God, who lives outside of time, knew well in advance that I would arrive at that exact point in the road in dire need. He knew in advance exactly when I would cry out to Him, and He prepared the miracles, the answers to my prayers… 15-20 years before I would need them!
Is that love or what?
God doesn’t play psychological games, friends, and there is no such thing as coincidence. God is in control. When we cry out to Him, He provides for our needs… Sometimes years before we ever know we need them! That’s why David’s recipe works. Not because of coincidence or the power of positive thought, but because our God loves us personally. When we hunger and thirst for Him as David did, then we also have to ask ourselves the all-important question: “Why am I so sad? Why am I so upset? I should put my hope in God and keep praising Him, my Savior and my God…” (Ps. 42:11 NCV)
What miracles has God prepared for you years in advance? Take some time today and contemplate this question. I guarantee it will be a real faith-building exercise!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two adult boys, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, The Illustrator, a four-times-a-week internet newsletter, and the Sermon Illustrator website, all with Answers2Prayer Ministries. ers2Prayer Ministries.