God’s presence is the answer to so many of our deepest questions.
I still get frustrated sometimes reading the book of Job. It starts off in a straight forward enough manner – there’s the confrontation between God and Satan that sets up the situation with Job. Then all the calamities happen to Job, and he questions why so many terrible things have happened to him, a good person. After that there’s the long middle section, with Job’s three so-called friends turning up to argue with him and tell him off in the middle of his suffering (some comfort that is – please don’t be that friend when people need love and comfort, and you give them a rebuke).
But then there’s the ending. Job wants an answer to his question of why so many terrible things have happened. God finally answers him from heaven. But there’s no real answer to the question. What happens is that Job has an overwhelming experience of the presence of God… and that’s enough for him. That actually satisfies him more than any intellectual answer. God’s presence is the answer.
“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”
And then there’s the prayers of Habakkuk. He asks God why there is so much injustice in the world. He asks why his nation is going to be overrun by the Babylonians, one of the cruellest nations from Old Testament times. And he doesn’t really get a satisfying intellectual answer to the question. But he receives a fresh revelation of God, and that’s the thing that satisfies. God’s presence is enough.
Whatever your questions are at the moment, God’s presence is the answer. That’s not to diminish your questions. And I truly believe that there are answers to all of them, and one day we will fully understand them all. But at the moment, more of his presence is often the answer. That’s the answer that he most wants to give you more of. And that’s the answer that you most need at the moment.
Mark Williamson works as a director of One Rock. He’s an experienced leadership trainer, author of biographies on John Wesley and William Wilberforce, and is also passionate about praying for London. He enjoys good films, good food, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna. You can follow him on Twitter @markonerock.