It’s dramatic. It’s joyful. It makes for a good story. It’s usually preceded by the telling of some harrowing or gut-wrenching situation in someone’s life. And then “God shows up”. Help arrives. A prayer is answered. The problem is solved. The story-teller’s faith is renewed and all is love and light in the world. But is it biblical?
I’m not hatin’ exactly. I love it when others recognize that a gift or blessing comes from the Lord. And the “God shows up” part of the story fulfills the fantasy of every little boy who loves super heroes and every girl who waits for the knight on the white horse. But the phrase just isn’t biblically sound. The fantasy falls apart when you still have cancer. Or your family continues the struggle to pay the bills. Or you fail the class, or get passed over for promotion. What if your anxiety disorder persists? Does that mean God’s not there? That’s not biblical either.
So what does the bible say? In John 16:33 it says, “In this world you will have trouble.” NIV But in Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” And according to Romans 8:35, we cannot be separated from His love by any kind of trouble (“hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword”). And maybe most important to this discussion, Deuteronomy 31:8 says God promises His people that He “will never leave you nor forsake you.” Then jumping all the way to Matthew 28 in the New Testament, “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Rebecca Jones says
Agreed. He is always right there like the knight in shining armor,
Wow! Just Wow! I love this! I have often thought the same thing. When I hear of miraculous recoveries, people being saved from disaster, and other wonderful occurrences and someone says “God was with me”, I have to think, but He was with you when the bad stuff was happening too. When there is ONE survivor of a plane crash, was God not there with the other people who perished? Thank you for your honest and thoughtful post. this is something I am passionate about. We are told that God gives to us “not as the world gives”.
Michele Morin says
Our words matter because they shape our thinking, so thank you for this distinction that refines my thinking about God!
Thanks for commenting, Michele.
Sandra Black says
So glad you wrote this as it is something that I had been pondering over writing because this saying has always irritated me. I hope you don’t mind but I would like to link up to your post for my Coffee and Conversation post later this month.
I would be honored. Thank you. Make sure and let me know when you do so I don’t accidentally miss it!
Linda Stoll says
God never left our sides through it all.
I’m so grateful, Lauren …
Me too, Linda!
Mary Geisen says
These words are the truth of who God is. We are always trying to fit into a story that God has already written. We forget that instead we are discovering our part in the story. Loved these words —-> So when we feel like God shows up, what is probably more accurate is that we WOKE up. YES!!!
Blessed to have you at #TellHisStory
Thanks so much, Mary. I enjoy linking up with you!
Ashley Harris says
This is so true! God is ALWAYS there. Good word, friend.
Such a beautiful, powerful reminder that it is us who changes perspective at times. We need to adjust our focus because He is with us no matter whether or not He shows up the way we expect. #worthbeyondrubies