In the trials of life it often seems that God is far away. We wonder where He is in the midst of our pain, as if He wandered away and left us to fend for ourselves. The truth is that God never leaves us. Because He indwells us, it is impossible for Him to leave those who have believed in Him and committed their lives to Him. We are one, and nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). The Bible states that God knows the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30). As Steven Furtick points out in his book, Crash the Chatterbox, “You can’t count someone’s hairs, one by one, from a distance.” God is always close, no matter your circumstances.
In Romans 8:31-39, the apostle Paul goes to great lengths to demonstrate how impossible it is for God’s love to be separated from us. I love the way Eugene Peterson paraphrases these verses in The Message:
Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture…
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
In the Old Testament (1 Kings 19:11-13), God told Elijah to stand outside because He was about to pass by Him. God proceeded to create a series of wonders in the presence of the prophet: a fierce wind, an earthquake, and fire. But none of these marvels were an appropriate representation of God. Then Elijah heard a faint whisper and knew immediately that what He heard was none other than God Himself. The takeaway is that the most accurate representation of God is something that requires Him being intimately close to us. A whisper cannot be heard from far away. It can only be heard when the words are right in your ear.
God does indeed stick closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). We are His creation and He delights in us. Zephaniah wrote that “He sings over us” (Zephaniah 3:17). Picture the love of a mother singing her child to sleep, and you have but a glimpse of the enormity of the love God has for each of us.
Trials will come in our lives. Because of sin entering the world and destroying God’s perfection, we will face sickness, tragedy, heartache, and despair. But God never leaves us for a single moment. He dwells inside of those who call Him Lord, and He longs to heal every ache. We may be knocked down, but we are never forsaken; abused, but not abandoned. God is there in our weakness and in our darkest hour. Nothing can come between us and God’s love.