“Truly, You are a God who hides Himself”
Remember when you were a child and played Hide and Seek? Personally I always thought it was more fun trying to find the perfect place to hide, rather than being the one who had to seek everyone else out. I grew-up living in an older two-story home with a large basement and attic, so there were a lot of places to stow away and become invisible. In fact Hide and Seek was probably one of my favorite games to play as a child.
But now here I am a full-fledged adult who finds herself at times struggling with the feeling that God is hiding from me – especially during difficult circumstances. I’m sure you can relate to that feeling. We often say as we walk through life that we “feel” or “sense” God’s presence. And that is awesome. But what about those times we feel or sense nothing from God?
Obviously the prophet Isaiah must have been feeling that way when he wrote, “Truly, You are a God who hides Himself.” And he wasn’t alone. The Bible is full of people who wondered where God was when they needed Him. The Hebrews who were enslaved in Egypt surely wondered. As did David running for his life when King Saul wanted to kill him. And I can only imagine how Job must have felt when he lost all his family and possessions.
Where is God when it hurts? Where does God go when the world is going to hell in a hand basket? Where is God when we feel like we need Him the most? Obviously there is an aspect to God’s nature that can be explained in no other way than mysterious. And His mysterious nature can leave us scratching our heads because we have more questions than we do answers.
Oswald Chambers says in his well-known and much-loved devotional My Utmost for His Highest that God’s silence and hiding is actually something He trusts his children with. And if you think about it, he is absolutely right. If we daily practice building a deeper relationship with the Lord; then when we experience His silence we will have built a solid trust in Him that will stand firm. Because what we do not understand we will by faith accept. We will be able to firmly trust His presence even when our physical senses cannot connect to Him. And by faith we will hang tight to His promise that He will never leave us.
God does not play hide and seek with His children. But he does give us opportunities to exercise our faith in Him. The question is never “can we trust God?” The real question is, “can God trust us with His silence?”