If life was a corridor and I was looking back down my hall, one of my through-lines would be my question, “Where are You, God?” Even as a very young child, I looked for God. I just had an innate pursuit of Him. I wanted to touch Him and to be touched by Him. I don’t say this with any sense of pride, as if I was some sort of prodigy, because I now realize it had little to do with me. And really, everywhere I could possibly do it wrong, I did. My hunger for Him was simply His grace and calling, which He brought forth through me. I’d find out, as time passed, just what the purpose of this hunger was.
From An Early Age: Life’s Corridor
When I was just under 4, I had an encounter with God that has marked my whole life. There was a bus that pulled up directly in front of our house every Sunday morning. I don’t know how I did this, but one day I hopped up on it with the rest of the kids without my mother’s knowledge. As she stood there horrified glancing out the window, I looked back at my house and waved goodbye, and off we went.
I have no memory of the trip to the church or how I got into my seat, but I do remember listening intently to the pastor. During his message, I learned two things. First, that we all were going to die—life would end. And second, that if you love your life, you will lose it, and if you hate your life, you will have it eternally. I remember saying to God in response, “But I love my life!” The words of this pastor have never left me, though I have resisted them all of my life.
Testimony of Life
Through age 7, I’d write little notes to God, run outside, toss them into the air, and then quickly run back into the house. I was hungry to connect with Him. I wasn’t raised in a religious home; I was just looking for God. And well into my late teens, I would go to church buildings and enter empty sanctuaries, crying out, “God, where are You?!” I was desperate, life had battered me as it does everyone, and I needed Him to come. I could never figure out why He didn’t meet my passionate pursuit by satisfying ME and my desire! And as I ruminated over that thought, what was once a child’s plea became a louder adult demand. I wanted Him to move, to be real and show His love to me!
I actually became bitter with Him in my preteen years, a condition I suffered from for quite a while. Because He didn’t come how I desired, I translated that as rejection and withholding. Ooo, Satan’s lie that God was withholding from me something I NEEDED attached itself to His apparent “deferred” answer (Prov. 13:12).
So I ask my question again, readers: “Is this you, too?” Have you ever come face to face with your disappointment in God? Has He failed to meet your demands or desires? Then let’s walk a little further down this corridor, and I’ll tell you what came next.