Where is God in my Trial? – by Heather-Dawn Small

I think one of the biggest challenges we have regarding prayer is the question, “Where is God in my trial?”

So many women tell me that they pray and pray, but they don’t feel God’s presence in their trials. They don’t see Him at work in their situation, or they don’t feel He has heard their prayers. Like so many, I too have felt the same way many times in my Christian walk. Then one day, awhile back, I was reading Mark 4:35-41. It’s a familiar story about Jesus sleeping in the boat during the storm and then waking up and speaking peace to the wind and waves.

I’ve read this story many, many times, but this time one point jumped out at me. Jesus was in the boat – silent, but not absent. What a revelation! How many times had I questioned God in prayer, “Do you really care about me?” “Why can’t I hear from you?” “How long Lord, will this trial last?” “Are you really near?” And so many more questions. But this one point in this much-read story answered my questions.

Yes, God was with me in the storm. Even though I could not feel Him, or see Him, or hear Him, He was there all along. Of course His presence in my storm is predicated on one action that I must take. The story says that Jesus said, “…Let us cross over to the other side” (Mark 4:35). The disciples response was, “…[and] they took Him along in the boat…” (vs. 36).

You see, Jesus invites us on this journey, but we must take Him along with us. And that is what makes the difference when we pray.

We must have Jesus in our “boat.” When we pray we must believe He hears and, even if we do not sense or feel Him, we must believe He is with us still. God’s silence does not mean He is absent from our lives. Oh, how I wish I had learned this lesson many years ago!

As we pray through the storms of life, we must ensure that not only have we accepted Jesus’ invitation to be with us through life’s storms, but we must also remember to take Him with us each day as we prayerfully invite Him into our lives and hearts.

Is Christ in your boat?

By Heather-Dawn Small, Women’s Ministries Director, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Note: Heather-Dawn Small wrote this week’s prayer requests. To view, please click here!

Practical Application: 

Do you feel forsaken or forgotten by the Lord as you go through some deep dark trial? Know that you are not alone. Even if you don’t feel His presence, rest in the assurance that He is near for the Bible tells us, He will never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5).

In Steps to Christ, we are told, “Through sincere prayer we are brought into connection with the mind of the Infinite. We may have no remarkable evidence at the time that the face of our Redeemer is bending over us in compassion and love, but this is even so. We may not feel His visible touch, but His hand is upon us in love and pitying tenderness” (p. 96).

In another place we are told, “Despondency may shake the most heroic faith and weaken the most steadfast will. But God understands, and He still pities and loves. He reads the motives and the purposes of the heart. To wait patiently, to trust when everything looks dark, is the lesson that the leaders in God’s work need to learn. Heaven will not fail them in their day of adversity. Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness and relies wholly on God” (Prophets and Kings, p. 174).

So no matter what you are facing right now, whether you feel God’s presence near or not, know that God is with you! Hang on to Him and don’t let go.

Dear Heavenly Father, sometimes in the midst of our trials, we lose sight of You. In fact, sometimes we wonder if You are even near. Help us to hold on to You, knowing that You will never leave us or forsake us. Help us to cling to Your Word even when we cannot see Your face. Help us to be faithful through every trial and every storm. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Promises to claim: Job 23:10, Rom. 8:18, John 16:33