Why Is God Hiding?

When my grandson Matthew was about two years old, he loved to play hide and seek with me. Hard-core fans of the game would have found something to be desired in his “hiding,” though.

Papa would count to ten and little Matthew would scurry off to hide behind his open bedroom door. Of course I knew where he was but I would pretend to search. (I may have peeked).

“Where’s Matthew?” I would call. “Where’s Matthew?”

And from behind the door I would hear a little voice giving me a hint. “Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo!” And, wonder of wonders, I found him. Amazing, huh?

He would either run off giggling or I might snatch him into my arms for a hug. You see, when you’re two, the game of hide and seek has a different goal. Ten-year olds want to hide so well that you can’t find them.

For two-year olds, the goal is to be found. Hold that thought.

Hide And Seek With God?

The other morning I woke up and for some reason I felt the Lord was a bit distant from me. I know this is all subjective, but I asked myself, “Did I do something wrong? It must be me, the problem.”

As I read the Bible that morning a verse leaped out, “Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.” (Isaiah 45:15, ESV).

“A God who hides himself?” That’s weird, I thought.

Then I remembered little Matthew hiding behind the door. He was hiding, but he wanted to be found. Now, I may be taking the verse out of context, (it won’t be the first time I’ve been guilty of that), but the principle is true.

Maybe the feeling of estrangement I felt from God that morning wasn’t that I had done something wrong or that God was upset with me. Maybe He was hiding so I would get up and go find Him.

When a fellow finds the love of his life, he seeks to be with her. If this lover quits seeking his beloved the relationship grows stale (a word from God for some of us?) The object of his love wants him to desire to be with her.

God is like that. He wants to be wanted.

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord…” (Jer. 29:12, 13, ESV)

Do you feel dry spiritually, separated from His presence? Stop and listen. You hear that voice? I think it’s God.

“Woo-hoo. Woo-hoo!”

Is God Lost? Should We Look For Him?

Monday morning a wave of agony washed across the United States as Daylight Savings Time officially slapped its 320 million residents. You can subtract the happy residents of Arizona and Hawaii plus various American territories which have had the good sense to leave their clocks alone.

For the rest of us, though, can you imagine the collective pain that wafted into earth’s atmosphere from 300 million tortured people? If you could have put all the groans together that escaped suffering throats when the alarm clock bonged, the sound would have been heard a light year away.

Little Martians would have looked up from the dust of the Red Planet and asked, “Mama, what was that?”

Actually, I had a strange question that floated through the fog that had invaded my head after the annual torture-fest. “How would King David have reacted to an ancient Daylight savings time in the Middle East?” After all, he usually hit the floor early to seek God. Continue reading

What Do You Do When Wind Visits You?

Wind rushed high over the earth.

Below he spied a dry, brown forest. He swooped down, passing through and caressing the sad leaves. Life-giving rain trailed in His wake and green surged from the deadness. Wind rose and looked.

The forest had come alive.

Wind sped on, descending to puff death away from a desert as the rains that trailed Him coaxed blooms from the sand in a riot of red, green and blue flowers. Fruit trees soon bent under the weight of their harvest.

Wind smiled and turned toward a solitary rock formation poking it’s head from a flat plain. Nothing grew on its flinty face.

The life-giver rose slightly and dived back to earth passing gently over the promontory, splashing rain over its unmoving face. And nothing happened. Wind turned and came back, harder this time. And the rock resisted him.

The breath of life yearned desperately to bring life to the hulking rock but no amount of caressing, cajoling, or blustering touched the huge mass. Continue reading

Your Hurt May Make You Sensitive To God’s Voice

I’ve banned my wife from making oatmeal cookies at home.

Because they are so good, I eat them until I look like a preacher/sumo wrestler, a sumo-preacher.
One night, not long before bedtime I got nostalgic for her cookies and I asked her to make a small batch. Voilà, a little while later 15  warm cookies appeared in the kitchen.
She forgot to watch me, though, and 45 minutes later all of them had evaporated. Or at least they disappeared somehow.
A few ticks of the clocks later, I found myself in bed unable to slee, a sugar high racing through my bloodstream.
“Why?” I asked myself.
Actually, I knew why. Oatmeal cookies are too good. They’re all linked together. If you eat one cookie, the others follow automatically.

Continue reading

Were You a Clingy Kid? Are You Still Clinging?

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I think the Apostle John must have been a clingy kid.

You know the kid I’m talking about. He’s always underfoot, follows you everywhere, talks your ear off, and constantly needs assurance of your love.

Of course he loves to cuddle and he wants to be close to you.

I wasn’t there and no one has written anything about it, but I can imagine mama Salome (James and John’s mama), saying with a bit of exasperation, “John, get down off my lap. Mama’s got to fix lunch! … John, I’m going to trip over you. You’re always underfoot.”

Maybe one of John’s first sentences was, “Mama, hold me.”

Why do I think that? Well look.

John was one of John the Baptist’s disciples. I don’t know how many there were in the group “John the Baptist and the Disciples” but there were two that were under his feet that day: Andrew and, according to the opinion of almost every commentator, our buddy John.

So, old stick-like-chewing-gum-to-a-shoe John hears his teacher speak of God’s sacrifice:  Continue reading