God, Are You Really There?

Tamara Stannard
A few weeks ago, in psychology class, a professor asked us if we knew what the only two fears are that we are all born with. We made a lot of guesses, but we didn't guess right. The only two fears are the fear of falling or losing ground under your feet and the fear of a strong, sudden or surprising sound. All other fears that we have, have been acquired throughout our lives. That's when I first heard this information. I stored it in a drawer and forgot about it.

One Sunday, at 6:24 a.m., that drawer opened. The powerful earthquake that hit Zagreb (Croatia's capital) and its surroundings triggered both of those fears, but also many others!

The powerful sound and feeling of losing the ground under my feet shook me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. For the first few minutes I was just sitting on the bed, in shock looking at the wall and shaking with fear, not knowing if this was just another nightmare or reality. "Please, God, say it’s not real!"​

But it was. And then, after an hour, that reality happened again. And a few more times during the day too. I'd be lying if I said I fell asleep peacefully the next night. Because I didn't.

And when in the midst of the earthquake and corona virus a snowstorm came too, my heart filled with worry and my mind began to doubt and question. God, are you really in control? Oh, how many times have I asked Him that question!

Nobody really prepares us for situations like these, do they? Even if we try to prepare, until a storm like that comes and turns our lives around, we can't quite be ready. Remember what Jesus did when the storm raged? He was asleep. He didn't sleep because He didn't care about His friends in danger. He was asleep because He knew who was in control, and He knew that if His disciples called Him for help now, He was there and He would calm the storm.​

A friend posted this picture of the storm and a text alongside it that I read on Monday when my heart was still agitated and I couldn't sleep. At first you don't see Jesus in this dark picture of the storm. I didn't see Him at 6:24 on Sunday. But zoom in on the picture and you'll see the outline of His raised hands calming the storm.
That evening, the day after the earthquake, Jesus calmed down my storm. I don't know what tomorrow brings. I don't even know what the next moment brings me, but I know whose hands hold it! I know whose hands I'm in! When everything around me changes, when I lose the ground beneath my feet and my world is shaken, when the strong sounds deafen me and my worst fears come true—my Jesus, my Lord is with me! Whether I feel Him or not. Whether I hear His voice or not. This truth is unchangeable. His promises are steadfast!

As I write this, I’m listening to a song by JJ Heller, and I want these truths to be as reassuring to you as much as they are to me, and that's why I’m sharing them with you today! Wherever you are now and wherever you will be — Jesus is with you!

“Everything around me seems uncertain, my weary heart can’t take much more surprise.
I wish there was a point on the horizon, something I could see with my own eyes.
I need to tell you that I’m scared, I feel completely unprepared.
And nothing’s what it was two weeks ago.

You already know. You already know everything I’m scared of, everything I hope.
You hold my tomorrow and all tomorrow holds – You already know.​

I can’t seem to find the easy answers, someday I hope the suffering makes sense.
I just need to know that you are with me even if you keep me in suspense.
And we talk so much these days because I have so much to say.
You stay and listen to me closely even though You already know.

You already know. You already know everything I’m scared of, everything I hope.
You hold my tomorrow and all tomorrow holds – You already know.

Whatever I’m feeling, whatever is coming, whenever the ending – You’re already there.
You go before me, You go behind me. Wherever I’m going – You’re already there.”
Drag to resize
About the Author

Tamara has served on our LLI team and is studying to be a teacher.