... (Jesus said) "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20b
I wasn't too long in the ministry before I heard the question, "Where is Jesus?"
The question was prompted by the motorcycle death of one of the young adult members of my congregation. No drugs. No booze. No speeding. He was a good kid. One day as he was on his bike, a driver didn't see him, and in a second it was all over.
Understandably, mother and father were heartbroken. He had been their only son.
In the days following his death, I noticed an amazing difference.
The mother's opinion was "I don't understand why the Lord took my boy home. No, I don't understand, but I trust the Lord to do what is right. We will meet again."
The father felt something quite different.
Outraged at God, the father said, "Jesus is supposed to be a God of love. Jesus is supposed to be all-powerful." From these two very basic statements of faith, both of which are quite right, the father concluded, quite wrongly: "If God loved my boy and He can do whatever He wants, then Jesus should have saved my son."
The father concluded, "Where was Jesus? I can tell you where He wasn't. He wasn't with my boy. And if Jesus wasn't with my boy then, then I don't need Jesus now."
The father wasn't ready to listen to me or anyone else.
He didn't want to hear how God had protected his boy through countless other accidents that never happened. He didn't want to hear how the Savior who lived and died and rose to save his son, would never -- could never -- do anything hurtful or wrong. He didn't want to hear how the Lord may have, by taking his boy home, saved his soul from a deadly, future temptation.
Dad didn't want to hear; his mind was made up.
When I left that church and community, his attitude hadn't changed.
I pray he has changed now because the truth is Jesus loved his boy and Jesus still loves that father as well.
So, where is Jesus?
Here is an honest answer. He is there with you, right now.
The fact that you may not feel Him, or see Him, or agree with Him, does not change the fact Jesus is with you. He is there, protecting you from dangers you cannot imagine.
When you feel singularly alone, when you feel there is nobody you could count on, when you think everyone has deserted you, He is there. How do I know?
I know because He told me.
THE PRAYER: Dear Savior, it is incomprehensible that You lived, suffered, died and rose for us and then forgot we are here. We know Your love is real and You will continue to live in our hearts forever. For this we give thanks in Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries