Once again, October rolls around and the staff of Christos House schedule the proclamations in the eight counties we serve to inform the public on what they need to know about domestic violence. We dust off the silent witnesses that are once more placed on the lawns of the different county courthouses, representing the women and children who have fallen victim to domestic violence. The numbers grow and we see no end in sight. We ponder “Is God among us or not?”
In Exodus 17, there is a reference about the complaining Israelites needing water and challenging God to provide it. Moses pleads with God “What shall I do unto this people? They are almost ready to stone me!” God then tells Moses to go before the people to a special rock that when struck will produce the water they need. The key point is that God tells Moses “Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. . .” In verse seven, Moses brings it to the reader’s attention that the people doubted God because of the conditions that they were struggling with and questioned “Is the Lord among us?”
It’s easy to say God is with us when things line up and life is a positive experience but much more difficult when we see no end to trouble. It is essential to our peace of mind to know that God is with us even though it doesn’t readily appear like it. So many times we stay in bad relationships because we don’t see God in our lives and can only trust what we see even if it is a disaster. Like the Israelites, we want to run back to the mud pits in Egypt rather than look for God in the ways in which he can be found.
As God told Moses “Behold I will stand before thee there upon the rock” he is telling us “I am with you”. Pastor Jeff Nelson states it best in his sermon “Is God Among Us or Not?”
We look for waters of relief from our grief and miss God’s presence in our tears. We look for waters of relief for loved ones and look past the person next to us offering us a cup of water. . . Is the Lord among us or not? We hear the promise: “Yes, I am in front of you. I will be in front of you”. In our thirst, God remains with us. God fills the cracks in our hearts with his presence. God stands in front of us through friends and family reaching out to us in genuine love. . . I stand in front of you calling you to each other; calling you to be my hands and feet, calling you to take up your staff and take care of one another. I am among you! Look toward one another and believe.”
October, the month appointed for raising awareness of the dangerous conditions that still exist in many homes comes and goes with a few more members in our communities who have stepped forward to make a difference, a few more church and civic organizations offering to sponsor an event to raise awareness, a few more victims who leave their threatening environments, a few more children safely out of harm’s way and we passionately declare that a success. We hear about domestic violence in the news and it pulls at society’s conscience to do the right thing and level consequences that fit the crime. As long as some of us are standing against this criminal behavior with such far-reaching consequences to human life, the hope of eradicating it is still alive and well. May God bless all that you do to help him care for others.