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He is with me - a reflection from Kelsi Drake

Recently, I was reading the story of when an angel of the Lord comes to Gideon and tells him that he is going to save the Israelites from the hands of Midian, whom they had been oppressed by after their own rebellion against God. The angel says to Gideon “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor. Gideon responds by answering “Please sir, if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? But now the LORD has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” (Judges 6) I thought about that interaction for days. At first, I thought it was Gideon’s boldness to immediately point out his disappointment and doubt when he encountered an angel of the Lord. However, after I reflected on it more, I realized this section stood out to me because I so often ask God the same question. “If you’re the good God I have heard about, and who I believe I follow, why is this happening?” Without wanting to admit it, I’d been asking God this question even over the past few weeks as I saw so much hurt, sadness, and brokenness surrounding me with COVID-19. Why would a good God allow so much pain? I don’t pretend to have the full answer to that question. I know there are aspects of God and His character that I am not going to understand this side of Heaven. I also know that The Bible tells us that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth (Romans 8:22) and that death and disease are a product of the Fall. However, I still feel the tension- why God? In the midst of this pandemic, I’ve been meditating on Psalm 23 along with so many of you. Verse 4 has been standing out to me and I’ve repeated it to myself over and over, even putting it up on our mantle as a daily reminder. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. When I feel confusion and chaos, this is something I can cling to- He is with me! While I don’t know what the future holds with this virus (or anything for that matter) or “why” it’s happening, I can rest in the fact that God sees me, he knows me, and he is with me. He is in the midst of our brokenness, our rebellion, and our pain. He is in the midst of COVID-19. While I don’t fully understand His ways, I know that he is with me. And He is good.

Kelsi and her husband, Stephen, have been members of Northside for six years, and she joined our staff team as the Director of Operations in summer 2019. She particularly loves how known and cared for she feels by those at NCR, and the way they have become dear family. 


  1. Thank you, Kelsi! This is so encouraging! I have likewise been encouraged this week by the very center of Psalm 23: "... You are with me..." the moment David changes from speaking the LORD's praises to others to speaking directly TO the LORD. It moves me how that displays David's overflowing emotions of love, praise, and gratitude about and towards the LORD. Praise God the He is a God who is WITH us, regardless of where we are! (Psalm 139, particularly verses 7 - 10)


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