God is not a deceiver, that he should offer to support us,
and then, when we lean upon Him, should slip away from us.
… St. Augustine
When things are going tough, it can be easier to turn towards God. As the old saying goes, “There are no atheists in the foxhole.” Turning to God may be our first recourse but there are times that even when we turn to Him he feels far away. That’s why St. Augustine’s reminder that God is faithful to keep His promise is so important. Even when we don’t feel His presence, God is present. He is working and active and involved in this great big world of ours. He’s up to something, even when we feel like He hasn’t shown up. He’s here, even when He seems far away.
At times when God’s presence is doubted, we may be tempted to suggest that while we’ve seen God’s work being done before, we’re not sure that He’s doing anything right now. Some may suggest that although God created the world, His active involvement in our life can’t be seen. (A central component to a worldview known as Diesm.) Others may think shorter-term and may feel that although that believe that God provided them a means of salvation and they trust Him for that, they can’t see His daily involvement in a particular problem or solution. Still others, may trust that in the final analysis God will once again rule the world, and they believe the future is His, but for right now, they aren’t so sure who’s in control of the universe. However, while the past and the future are most definitely in God’s hands so is the present. All time belongs to Him. He’s working in the here and now just like He worked in the past and He will continue in the future. God’s presence is in the present. This is His time, just like any other.
Turning to God when everything goes wrong may be an easy instinct to follow. Trusting that He’s there even when we don’t sense His presence is excruciatingly hard. However, where God’s children are, He is working. God is present now.