Where Is God When It Hurts?

Finding Comfort with Cody Carnes

In a reflective conversation with Family Life Radio, worship leader and songwriter Cody Carnes shared his experiences of feeling God’s unwavering presence during the loss of his father. This dialogue offers insight into how perspective and openness to God’s presence can transform our darkest moments into periods of sincere spiritual closeness.

Cody candidly talked about a time in his life that many would expect to have driven a wedge between him and God—the decline and eventual passing of his father. He says, “I don’t know if I have [felt very far from God], honestly…in the last four years of our relationship [my father] got into drugs and was homeless…But I honestly, I remember the moment that he passed away. And those first couple of weeks of just how raw my heart was. And I’ve never felt God as close as he was at that moment.”

The Presence of God in Pain

Rather than distancing from Him, Cody’s experience brought him an unexpected closeness to God. He explains, “[God] is with us. He leans in as a comforter. You know, I lost my dad; He leaned in as a father. I just sensed that.”

God manifests His love and comfort in our lives, especially in moments of acute pain and loss.

Cody believes that our perception of God’s role during our trials significantly affects our sense of His presence. He emphasizes that feeling distant from God is often a matter of perspective rather than reality. “You do have a choice of how you see that moment, and if I believe about God, that He should have intervened, and it should be different – like He should have done something differently…. I’m going to feel like He’s far away, even when He’s not,” Cody reflected.

Cody Carnes

Cody remained aware of how easy it could have been to blame God for not intervening in the way he wanted but instead chose to see God as a necessary comforter in his time of grief.

Jesus’s Empathy in Our Sorrow

Drawing from the story of Jesus weeping at Lazarus’ tomb, Cody said, “Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus; He wept with his friends. And I love that picture because that’s Jesus in the moment with me.”

Jesus is right there, in the moment with us.

Jesus’ compassion compels him to always be right there, in the moment with us, sharing in our grief and offering His comfort.

Hope Beyond the Temporal

“We’re all going to die at some point,” Cody continued. “We’re all going to move on to heaven and be and live there. And I don’t understand it, and [the grief is] really painful. There’s a lot of things – like my dad never even met my second son. So obviously, I’m grieving those moments I didn’t get to have.”

Cody Carnes

Despite the depth of his loss, Cody clings to hope, informed by his faith in eternal life and the promise of heaven. “My dad knew Jesus. So there’s this hope … But right now is temporal anyway.”

Cody’s experience invites us to reconsider how we perceive God’s presence in our lives – as a loving Father who leans in, comforts, and weeps with us in our darkest hours. It is the ever-present love of God that sustains us through our most challenging moments.

Want more? Check out our on demand resources


Family Life Radio is listener supported. Those who listen give to make the music and content possible to shine God’s love, peace and encouragement into hearts, revealing truths that direct people in the way they should go.

If you feel led to give a gift today to help others draw strength, gain wisdom and experience peace through Family Life Radio click here.