Where Was God?, a 89-minute documentary concerning the destruction caused by tornadoes that ripped through Moore, OK and Joplin, Mo in 2013, will have a limited theatrical release in mid-March before being released on DVD May 1st. The instructive and moving production won Best Feature Documentary at Trail Dance Film Festival in Oklahoma, and it gives us a thoughtful observation by survivors who came to realize that “through the storms of life, God is always near.”
Where Was God? is a question that could come up in each life, for at some point we all have or will experience ordeal of some kind. That’s an unsettling thought, I know, but it’s true. First, everyone you know will die, unless you die first. And second, no one gets through life without problems. Over the years I found by reading celebrity bios that even the rich and famous are unable to avoid dispute and pain. And let’s face it, though others may have bigger problems than we, ours seem huge at the time. So, how do we deal with them? And why does God allow these travails?
Though this is a difficult film to view because of seeing the loss of loved ones on the faces of survivors, it is an important film, for it addresses issues such as guilt, anger, facing devastation, bonding with our fellow man, sacrifice, salvation and love. It will move you and give you an appreciation for what you have…and who you have.
If we can’t escape problems no matter how rich, famous, bright or beautiful some become, then maybe there’s an ethereal reason for these inescapable adversities. Maybe our struggle through toil and trouble is one of the main reasons we are here, for these woes cause us to trust in God.
By studying both Bible Testaments, one must come to the conclusion that the only way to please God is through faith. And our faith seems to be important to our Heavenly Father. “And without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV). We see through a glass darkly, but remember, we’re not alone and forgotten in the shadows. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you: I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
Does God bring on the catastrophes? Does He cause the little child to die of leukemia or allow a blue-collar worker to lose his much-needed income? Does he bring heartbreak? These puzzles befuddle even the most brilliant theologians, so don’t expect too much profundity from this humble movie critic. But from studying His nature through the Word, God doesn’t seem petty, unforgiving or vindictive. And when the next ordeal overwhelms you, remember you are not alone in this travail. Others have been right where you are. And our Lord does promise to be beside us. “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand, and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13 NIV).
Who knows the Big Picture? Someday, perhaps not in this life, He will share it with us (“Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him. With them alone he shares the secrets of his promise.” Psalms 25:14, Living Bible). Until then, rest assured, the Big Picture is made up of billions of little pictures, for God, who cares for the little sparrows, is in the details.
In Matthew, Jesus reminds us, “…and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
Not Rated, the subject matter in Where Was God? is handled with discretion, and is suitable for teens on up. Directed by Travis Palmer. Information on where and when this spiritually rewarding presentation will be released can be found on the website, wherewasgod.com.