Famously the Soviets published a cartoon in the Newspaper Pravda at the time of initial space exploration showing a space ship and commenting, God is not here. Both atheist and faithful believer discover the challenge of finding God a real issue.
In the resurrection stories of the Gospels we have the delightful story of a disciple, Thomas, who misses out on meeting the Risen Jesus (Jesus being bodily alive after death by Crucifixion) because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thomas is told the story from the other disciples, he is incredulous and famously replies ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger into the nail-marks, and my hand into his side – I’m not going to believe!’ Then a week later, the disciples are all together and this time Thomas is there. The doors are shut. Jesus came and stood in the middle of them. He greets them with a peace and then says to Thomas, ‘bring your finger here and inspect my hand. Bring your hand here and put it in my side. Don’t be faithless! Just believe!’ Thomas replies: ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus comments, maybe wryly, ‘God’s blessing on people who don’t see and yet believe’. It is easy to hear this story and think that God is only really found in the miraculous, and those who ‘locate’ (not a good word, but the best for the moment) God in the miraculous often find difficulty when the miraculous doesn’t happen. Miracles are by definition rare and the resurrection is by any definition ‘miraculous’. However, the story of Jesus and Thomas tells us that God is to be found in the midst of genuine doubt. It is all right, God’s got it covered!
Recently at Waltham Chase Methodist Church we held a concert for mental health, for the Mind and Soul Foundation http://www.mindandsoul.info , a Christian mental health charity. Various local artists came and performed and the audience enjoyed tea and cake. It was a wonderful evening and many of the performers spoke of their journey with mental health and how faith has helped. A number spoke of the pain, the difficulty, but also of finding Jesus in the midst of their journey.