I can't tell you how many times, in different ways, I have wondered this.
Where could God be when a child is being abused? Where could He be when the perpetrator is considering what he or she is going to do or when they have lost control.....again.
Does He see? Does He care?
Lately in the media I've heard a couple people say that religion is a way of postponing common sense - something people do so they don't have to consider reason and so they can justify their bigotry.
I happen to disagree. Even without all the concrete proof, which is a greater risk? - believing there is a God and living your life that way, or choosing to believe there is not a God and trusting in yourself to be a god? I don't believe having faith is the suspension of reasonable thought. Nor do I believe it is a crutch. To me it is the source of all reason and all answers and all hope.
Just because I believe it is the source of all reason doesn't mean I have all the reasons/answers. I certainly don't. But I believe Someone does. I believe He knows it all and sometimes that is the only thing I have to or even can trust in.
I never really asked where God was when I was growing up. I think I just believed He had His back turned on the whole situation. He certainly wouldn't want to find Himself there in all that mess, I figured.
There was one time in particular I remember thinking of Him though. My mom had asked me to point out all the Bible verses describing how children were to submit to their parents and I had to read them all to her. I KNEW there was a verse in there about parents not exasperating their parents. I prayed silently that God would help me find it. I never did. Not until long after that particular incident. I felt, in those moments, that He betrayed me. Later someone asked me what I think might have happened if I had found that verse and read it. I had never considered that before, but I don't think it would have gone well at all. Instead of seeing it as a situation of betrayal I see it now as a situation of protection. It took years to think about it that way though.
I have recently come to the peace that these verses provide....
Proverbs 3:5-6....Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
Lean not on your own understanding. I think that's where this all comes down in these situations. They are simply impossible to understand. There is no human explanation. But somehow, for some reason, He does understand and He was there when it happened and He didn't intervene to my knowledge in a direct way. He has a good reason for those things too. I have to trust in that because His word promises me that is true.
It also promises that He is there - He never forsakes or abandons us if we have trusted in Him. He loves us with a never ending love. And He will work all things together for good. Work. It doesn't magically happen. It works its way out.
Asking the question of where He was/is feels terrible to a person who trusts in God. It feels like it's wrong or like we should feel guilty for not being "chipper" with Him. I believe God believes in truth and light and life and asking those questions and trusting in Him for the answers is something He wants from us. He doesn't WANT us to doubt Him, but He understands it and I think as long as we don't remain in that mentality, He will make those answers a little clearer as times goes on. He'll at least let us speculate toward the answers. And He will make them clearer later.
Be patient with me today and wait for the process and hope that will come as we trust in Him.