WHY? “Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1 NIV). Be honest now. Have you ever felt that way? Matthew Henry said, “God's withdrawings are very grievous to his people, especially in times of trouble. We stand afar off from God by our unbelief, and then complain that God stands afar off from us.” I think that among Christians Matthew Henry is more right than wrong. At some time in our Christian life all of us will have the question of the Psalmist. We don’t want to have that question. We may have thought we would never have that question. But there it is. Where is God anyway? Doesn’t He see the trouble we are in? As one matures in the Christian life we see the absurdity of that question because God has promised He will never leave us or forsake us and God never breaks a promise.
Why then does it appear that God isn’t with us in our very distressful situation? Doesn’t Psalm 10:17 say, “You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,” (NIV). Could our problem be that we just aren’t listening to God while He is listening to us and in some way encouraging us? Maybe our times of trouble are there to build godly characteristics in us (2 Peter 1:3-9) and cause us to have a deeper understanding of the fact God never leaves us or forsakes us. Sometimes friends just walk together or spend time together and never utter a word. Our relationship with God should often be just like that. Sometimes we learn more in what seems like silence on the part of God than we could any other way. Maybe silence really is golden and when the silence is broken maybe we really are listening.