Where was God?

by | Jun 3, 2016 | Spiritual Growth | 15 comments

No God, no!! This can’t be true! Berkley’s parents have served faithfully as missionaries for years. They’ve given their lives for Your service…so how could you allow this to happen? Where were You when Berkley was being sexually molested? These were some of the hard questions I asked God when I heard that our friends’ teenage daughter had been sexually abused by a relative from the time she was six years old. I wondered, How could this happen when our friends have faithfully prayed for the physical, emotional and spiritual protection of their children? Where were You, God?

I understood the heartache Berkley was experiencing firsthand because I had also been abused by someone that should have protected me. Unlike Berkley, however, I had no one praying for me when I was a child. Hearing Berkley’s story stirred up the questions that I had wrestled with for many years. Where were You, God, when bad things happened to me? Do You really care about me or am I just a little rag-a-muffin? The Bible says that You are faithful, but I don’t feel like I can trust You.

Over the years I’ve had lots of people try to explain where God was when bad things happen, but they all left me feeling confused. Some said that Jesus was in the room weeping in the corner while I was being abused. That didn’t provide comfort because that would mean that God is passive. Others argued that God was doing His best to protect me, but the perpetrator wouldn’t listen. Well, doing His best wasn’t good enough for me. That would mean that He is impotent and I could never trust a God who is weak. As I was on my knees in desperation one day, I heard gentle words spoken into my heart. It wasn’t an audible voice, but a gentle Spirit to spirit encounter that changed my life forever.

As I listened with spiritual ears, the Holy One revealed Himself as the God of the angel armies. This can be clearly seen in the book of Isaiah:

“For I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea, causing its waves to roar. My name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies” (Isaiah 51:15 NLT).

He assured me that He wasn’t passively standing by observing the vile things that were done to me. Instead, He was actively engaged in heavenly warfare while I was being harmed by human beings under Satan’s control. The angelic forces of light were fighting under His command, protecting my soul from being lost forever in Satan’s grasp.

The Holy One wasn’t watching impotently as unspeakable things were done to an innocent child. Electrifying power was filling heaven and earth as He waged war against the forces of evil on my behalf.

“Fire goes forth before him and burns up all his foes. His lightning flashes out across the world. The earth sees and trembles” (Psalm 97:3-4).

The results of this victory meant that I was tormented, but not defeated. The father of lies could not snatch me away from the Lord’s heavenly grasp. Even though my body was broken, my spiritual destiny was, and is forever sealed. I am safe in His strong right hand. The Great I AM was fighting for me and I am forever grateful for His faithfulness.

God spoke to my heart in worship that day and revealed that He is not passive or impotent. He is the Lord of heaven’s armies and was and will forever be the protector of my soul. This was an aha moment for me as it exposed one of the lies from Satan that I had believed. The lie that said, I can’t trust God because He didn’t protect me was changed. Now I know where God was when bad things happened to me. He was fighting in the heavenlies and even though evil people hurt my body, God saved my soul for Himself.

15 Comments

  1. Sue

    Thank you for sharing what the Lord of Heaven’s armies has revealed!! He is the protector of our souls!!

    Reply
    • Bev DeSalvo

      I’m so grateful for His faithfulness.

      Reply
  2. Rhonda

    Beautifully stated, Bev. I am definitely going to share your post with others that I know who have been through hard days of abuse, but although their bodies were damaged, they can rest assured that God was valiantly fighting for their souls. What a good God we serve! Thank you for these empowering words!

    Reply
    • Bev DeSalvo

      Yes, Rhonda…there are answers to the hard questions. God is powerful and we can trust in His heart.

      Reply
  3. Gilda Crabtree

    Thank you for this perspective and it is the only one we can rest in!
    I need to ask a question about the book The Shack. I was almost attacked by a fellow Christian who said the book was heresy and no one should read it. Fantasy is hard to grasp for some and CS Lewis must be heresy to them also.
    The Shack for me was the answer to the same question you wrote about today. Where was God when the little girl was taken and killed? He was right there battling for her very soul. It was an answer I had been looking for.
    Can a book be considered heresy if through fantasy an author is able to connect the dots to timeless questions?
    Looking forward to your response.
    Sincerely, Gilda (Natalie Briggs mom)

    Reply
    • Bev DeSalvo

      Oh sweet Gilda. Christian men and women have been disagreeing over the centuries over various things. I’m sure that there are some that will disagree with many things in “Return to Joy” because I describe hearing the Holy Spirit speak to my spirit. All I can say is that I found comfort in the Holy One that brought healing to my wounded heart.

      Many people have been deeply touched by “The Shack”. Everyone should recognize that the author never intended people to think that the Trinity is truly the way he describes them. Instead, it’s his way of dealing with the deep pain that he went through when his parents were missionaries. Without his parents knowledge, he was sexually abused by the tribe they were ministering to and by people in the missionary school they sent him to.

      I believe with all of my heart that we should never compromise on doctrine, but I also believe that we should live by the greatest commandments that Jesus taught…to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind and to love others as He loves them. Hope this helps.

      Reply
      • Gilda Crabtree

        Thank you so much Bev. I appreciate your response and insight. Gilda

        Reply
    • Elaine

      Gilda-loved your question and your courage in asking! I have to wonder why folks feel they have to cling to their need to be right. Jesus doesnt defend his vulnerability. Doesn’t he come to us in ways we can receive? He tells us he is bread, a vine, light, a gate–surely we know those are metaphors. So if an author uses a metaphor about God appearing as a black woman to reach a wounded character, how is that heresy?

      Reply
      • Gilda Crabtree

        Thanks Elaine for your wonderful perspective!!

        Reply
  4. Ronnie Gaines

    Great Message. Thanks for shearing.

    Reply
    • Bev DeSalvo

      I get more positive feedback on this spiritual insight than any other that I share. Thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  5. Kim Kirschner

    This really speaks to my heart. I had the same kind of “aha” moment one day reading my bible. I had been terribly upset about something… I don’t even remember what now. But I came across Ephesians 6:12
    12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
    I realized that I had been focused too much in the world. This is a great reminder of what goes on behind the scenes. It also got me thinking that I should pray for God’s armies as they fight these battles for our souls.
    I love the song by Chris Tomlin Whom Shall I Fear (God’s Angel Armies) I can visualize the mighty battle for each of God’s children. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Bev DeSalvo

      Thanks Kim. God is far more powerful than the evil one but He is also more concerned about the eternal things of life. We get confused and think that He’s our enemy at times….when He is really the Protector of our souls!!

      Reply
  6. Tracy Fisher

    Thank you for sharing… I really needed to hear your revelation of God’s battling for us in deep pain.

    Reply
    • Bev DeSalvo

      Sweet Tracy, we all have a broken road to walk in life but we are never alone. The Protector of our souls is always with us, fighting against the evil forces. That’s because He loves us so much. I miss you guys.

      Reply

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