Writing from the view of an airplane gives quite a unique perspective. I sit here reflecting on my visit with grandchildren and realize their beauty and the beauty God has provided me completely free of charge. Soon the moon will decorate the sky, but now a most beautiful sunset is spread before me, untouched by skyscrapers, tall trees or any other distraction. Colors bouncing off the cloud blanket are beyond description. A two hour delay for takeoff now seems fitting for if not delayed, I would have missed this. And I consider; where has the earth gone? Did it disappear or is it still there – just beyond my sight? God is like that- present always, but sometimes out of sight.
Just because we cannot see something does not mean it is not there. Children must think the love of their parent has disappeared when they are being disciplined. God, too, sometimes cloaks Himself in mysterious ways, just temporarily, hiding His presence from us. Oh, He’s still there, just not revealing Himself. That’s what FAITH is all about. We believe He is still here; we trust His heart even when we cannot see His hand.
Joseph must have thought God had disappeared when his brothers dumped him into a pit pulling him out only to sell him to slave traders. Once in Egypt, when his owner’s wife falsely accused him of inappropriate behavior causing Joseph to land in jail, he had to reach deep for his faith in God. (Genesis 39) But the day finally came when the clouds of doubt parted and he saw God at work again. Joseph remained faithful even when he could not see God. He moved from a prison to the palace and had God to thank for making things right that had been wrong for so very long.
Paul had perhaps the grandest revelation of God (in the form of Jesus) as the brightness of the Son appearing on the road to Damascus leaving Paul temporarily blind and dependent on others to guide him. (Acts 9) Yet, the periods of confusion or loneliness during Paul’s years of ministry did not prevent him from traveling far and wide to share the good news of Jesus Christ and writing nearly half of our New Testament. That’s the kind of faith I want! Even when God is out of sight, I want my faith to shine brightly to light my way. My faith walk is long and old enough – I have more than enough proof from past experience to know I can trust God even when I can’t see Him at work.
I’m walking down that pathway now. It has been a while since I’ve seen (or felt) God at work using me to reach His lost and dying world. But that WILL NOT prevent me from KNOWING God is at work in my life, even if I don’t know where or how. If you find yourself in a dark or lonely place and you wonder where God has gone, take heart, my friend! Once you place yourself in the hands of God, He will not allow you to slip from His grasp. Just like my view from the plane as the clouds veiled my view of the earth, I still knew what remained below the clouds. And you can trust God to remain faithful, even when concerns of daily life cause you to doubt.
Don’t give up, don’t grow tired of the wait, but eagerly wait, “for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:7-9)