A few years ago on a rainy day I was checking my PO Box. A young mother and her little boy (about 3 years old) walked in. She looked at me with telling eyes that said she recognized me. I do not know if she knew me by reputation, this was a small town, or if she knew who I was from the television program I spoke on. But she turned to her child and said, “You can ask him, he will know, he’s a preacher.” I mentally braced for a profound question. I squatted down to his eye level to invite the question. I expected a question about Noah, the flood, why did God create rain, but I was not however ready for the one he asked. “When its raining here, is it raining where God is?”
Wow! How do I answer that? Here is what flashed through my mind before I answered:
- “No, God is light, it never rains in heaven. Heaven is always bright and sunny like a nice early summer day.”
- “Yes, God is everywhere, so when it rains here, since He is here with us, it is raining where He is.”
I was confused myself. How could I answer this little budding theologian?
I replied, “That is a great question. I have never thought about that, thanks for asking me.” I know I did not satisfy his curiosity. I know, I did not really answer his question. But I had never thought about that before.
I would spend the next 30 minutes thinking about it still bouncing between the two answers.
When it rains here, does it rain where God is? Then it hit me, that a “grown-up” version of the question is: “When I as a child of God am feeling down, does God hurt with me?” To this child, rain was a bad thing. It would keep him from going outside, playing in the park, and the lightning and thunder were scary. He was hurting and wanted to know if God was hurting with Him.
The answer is 1 Peter 5:6-7, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
God cares! He cares about our greatest need – the guilt and burden of sin – so much that He did not even spared His Son to pay our debt (cf Rom 8:32). If God takes care of the greatest need, why should I doubt that He understands and cares for our daily needs and hurts? Remember the words of the psalmist, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” (Psa 46:1-3).
Thank you, Father, for Your loving, compassionate, eternal care!
(Long time readers may recognize these events from March 2009).