I have to continually remind myself that the Lord is not into games of hide and seek. While we cannot discern Him with our natural senses, He is all around us – “hiding in plain sight,” as it were.
Put another way, there is no place where God is not. Stop and think about that one for a moment, but don’t linger there for too long! It will start to mess with your mind if you try to sort it all out, because such an inexplicable phenomenon utterly defies human comprehension.
So we know that God is all around us, and that He’s not hiding. However, it makes me wonder sometimes, “How come the Lord doesn’t just write in the sky something like, “I’M GOD, YOU’RE NOT, AND IF YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU, YOU BETTER WISE UP AND GET WITH MY PLAN!” Seems to me like this would be a highly effective approach, no?
Well, first off, thankfully I am not the Lord, and as we discussed in another post, His ways and thoughts are infinitely far above and beyond mine; so naturally, the idea that I just offered is no doubt ludicrous in His eyes (probably in yours, too!).
Of course, if the Lord simply wanted us to come to Him because we were afraid of Him, or out of some sense of obligation, well, I suppose that He could compel us to Him in this way.
However, I’ve come to learn that that is not what He wants. Rather, the Lord simply wants us to want to be with Him! That is the end of the story right there – no mystery involved at all.
So God is like (and this is the Daily Thankful synopsis of a key biblical truth – please refer to your Bibles first and foremost, always), “Look – I am everywhere all the time, and I want to spend time with You. But first, I want to know if you are interested in really spending time with Me, or if you are just in it because of what you hope to get from Me.”
Ooh. That’s convicting.
Anyway, I love this promise from Jeremiah 29 – the Lord gave this promise to the children of Israel during Old Testament times, and broadly speaking, it holds true for us today. If and when we seek the Lord sincerely, He will respond in kind. In fact, He often seeks us when we are flat-out rebelling, because He loves us too much to leave us in that wretched condition.
Either way, once He’s gotten our attention, I believe that the Lord simply opens our eyes to the fact that He’s been there all along – just hoping that we’d earnestly start looking for Him one day, with sincere and tender hearts (and to me, this means habitually, sincerely, and motivated by an honest desire to know Him better). If this is your prayer, then you can trust that the Lord hears you, and will begin revealing more of Himself to you by degrees.
Not necessarily big degrees, mind you. Sometimes He does, but more often than not, the Lord seems to work through the everydayness of life.
For instance, I noticed today and yesterday that the sky was finally blue here in California (there have been so many terrible forest fires in our state, that the skies have been infiltrated with smoke for a long time). The air quality was so poor at one point that I could not discern the mountains that surround where I live – and I do not live anywhere near to where the fires were burning!
However, one day, when I had focused my attention away from the smoky skies and bad air quality, it suddenly just occurred to me to look up, and I noticed that the skies were blue again. No fanfare or trumpets, or anything. Just one day, there were blue skies, and I had missed it for a good portion of the day, and God led me to look up and notice the miracle He had wroght. “Lord, look what You’ve done! You’ve cleared the skies, and I can se the mountains again!” I was very thankful, and remain so.
To another person, perhaps the blue skies would have gone unrecognized, or perhaps someone would be too busy to notice. By God’s grace, though, He reminded me to look and up and behold the works of His hands – blue sky! Truly, it was a most welcome site.
This exemplifies my journey with the Lord. I’m usually looking for big revelations and “aha!” moments, and He’s more interested in my noticing the color of the sky, birds chirping, or ducks that just happen to waddle by as I wait for a friend outside of a sushi restaurant (some of you may remember that story from an earlier post!). It seems to be about the Lord getting my attention in small and subtle ways, but really these are the things that matter most, at the end of the day.
So let’s remember to stay vigilant and be on the lookout – because when we start truly looking for the Lord, then eventually “see” Him with the eyes of our heart, and we’re powerfully changed as a result. So, it’s not hide-and-seek; rather, it seems more like seek-and-find, don’t you think?