The Lord our God has secrets known to no one.
-Deuteronomy 29:29 NLT
When we can’t see God’s hand, we can trust His heart.
No longer can I see my dad’s physical hand—unless I look at a picture. But I can see his hand in other things. When Dad was in his early forties, he pastored a small church that didn’t require too much of his time, so he took up a hobby: woodworking. He started small, making wooden picture frames and gluing pictures of beautiful scenery on them.
As time progressed and he honed his skills, he moved on to larger items. He started his woodworking in a small outdoor shed. Later, he took over mom’s carport, and finally, she bought him a large shed, which he placed on my middle brother’s property.
The larger items became shelves, beds, and other pieces of furniture. Just before he died, he built mom an entire bedroom suit, something I hope to inherit one day.
Hanging on my bedroom wall is one of the first wood items Dad ever built—long before he reached his forties. He built this little what-not shelf in shop class during high school. I don’t know where he kept it all those years, especially since Mom is the throw-away queen. But one day, the shelf appeared, and Dad refinished it. Then, on the back, he wrote when and where he had built it. Even in that early piece, I could see my father’s hand. It now proudly hangs on my bedroom wall.
Seeing someone’s hands in something is a figurative way of saying we can see their traits or characteristics. And Dad’s was perfection. He sanded until the wood was as smooth as a baby’s bottom. He covered screw and nail heads with wood putty or wooden caps. No nicks. Nothing unlevel. No ragged knotholes. If the item contained a flaw, no one would ever see it. That’s why he never sold any of his work. He would have lost money because of the many hours he had invested in it.
The nation of Israel had a history of seeing God’s hand. He had called them as His special people. He gave them a homeland and delivered them from four hundred years of Egyptian slavery. The list seemed endless. But God didn’t tell them everything he did. He had secrets.
The same holds true today. We can see many ways God works in our lives—but not all of them. He chooses to keep some secrets. Sometimes, we will enter those dark nights of the soul. At other times, we may feel God has left us . . . that He no longer cares.
The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant.
-Psalm 25:14 NLT
When we can’t see God’s hand, we must trust His heart and lean on what His Word teaches. God might be maturing us for an assignment. He could be teaching us a spiritual lesson. Perhaps, He lets us feel alone, so we’ll cling to Him tighter than we already do.
Jesus promises never to leave or forsake His children. His ways are higher than ours, so we won’t always see His hand at work, but it always is. His love is unconditional.
What steps can you take when you don’t see God’s hand?
Father, when I don’t see Your hand working my life, help me to trust Your heart. Amen.
Copyright 2022: When We Can’t See God’s Hand: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved