God is never absent – it is just our belief system that makes us think that God could not be present when things, according to our judgement, go wrong. The Parable of the Leaven (Mt.13:33) suggests that God is never more present than when things are going wrong. The leaven, symbol of what we regard as evil for us, could be physical, mental or moral disabilities in us or in those we love. Jesus teaches that the Kingdom of God is present there; just how it is present is what we have to figure out. This is the challenge of everyday life. God is always there, but everything in us may say: “God can’t be here.” Or we may ask, “If God is all merciful and all powerful, why is he allowing this to happen to me?”. . .What God is looking for is not to change situations that seem horrendously destructive or corrupt. He is hoping to change us. Changing us may sometime require disasters. We have preconceived ideas that have never been challenged, mindsets that we have brought with us from early childhood or picked up along the way. Most, if not all of these values are not those of the Gospel. God invites us to change them; and, if we cannot do it on our own, he provides us with circumstances that may seem to us insurmountable or overwhelming.
– Father Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O.