But they didn’t know who he was, because God kept them from recognizing him.~Luke 24:16 NLT
I have been, and occasionally still am, a hider.
Apart from the normal game of hide-n-seek, one of my cousins and I often invented other hiding games. We invented imaginary giants to hide from in my grandfather’s barn where he stored his crops until he took them to market. If we chose to play Cowboys and Indians, one of us would hide.
Our grandfather’s hog pens also provided ample opportunity for hiding. Amidst the mud were areas of broom straw taller than us. We enjoyed aggravating the hogs, so after doing so—knowing our grandmother would soon appear and scold us—we’d duck between the straw.
Hiding appears to be a normal part of life. Perhaps, it’s a part of that sinful bent we’re all born with. After all, hiding is the first thing Adam and Eve did after disobeying God. “When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man[a] and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees” (Genesis 3:8 NLT).
Sin leads to hiding. God has created in us the ability to know right from wrong. Although we do wrong from an early age, a point comes when we recognize we have done wrong. If we fail to admit the wrong, we’ll want to hide like our first parents.
But God can also hide from us in an attempt to stretch our faith. Though there, He makes His presence less prominent. His desire is that we stretch for Him, realize our need for Him, and grow our faith to a deeper degree.
When God seemingly hides, our resolve is tested. His apparent absence leads us to consider the seriousness of our love and service for Him as well as our sincerity about whatever task we’ve undertaken.
These times of absence may also signal God is preparing circumstances and us for another area of service. Moses experienced God hiding while living on the back side of the desert, Elijah while hiding in a cave, and Joseph while languishing in a foreign country.
God never truly hides, but when it seems He has, self-examine to see what He’s up to.
How do you react when God seems absent?
Heavenly Father, in times when it appears You have left me, guide me to seek You more than ever so I can discover what You’re up to.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Copyright 2020: When God Hides: Author Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved