Supreme Ambition Ministries

To Know Christ and to Make Him Known – Philippians 3:10

WHY DOES GOD HIDE?

crossing-red-sea.jpgThis Lord of ours can act very strangely at times. He is hard to discern. For instance, He leads His escaping fledgling family to the shores of the Red Sea with no apparent retreat He miraculously gives Abraham a son and a promise and then asks him to take that life. Upon hearing of the sickness of his dear friend, Lazarus, Jesus purposely lets him die and shows up late for the funeral. Furthermore, when confronted with an angry mob and a Roman cross, he spoke not a word but went as a sheep before its shearers to an ignominious death. Why? Will someone please tell me why? Serving God can be so confusing. You dedicate your life the best you know only to have God leave you at a crucial moment. Warning! Be careful of those who have ready answers and ‘quick’ fixes to your personal dilemas. They are legion. But pious platitudes , empty religious sayings, and quoted Bible verses are not enough to answer the question before us.
In Chapter thirteen of his gospel John records some of the last words of Jesus just prior to that cruel death. After having been with the disciples for over three years, Jesus suddenly announces to the little band that he is leaving and they can’t go where he is going! Impetuous Peter expresses what everyone else is thinking when he asks, “Where are you going? Why can’t I come?”
You know what? I’m with Peter. This Christian walk is hard enough as it is but without Jesus around it is downright impossible. Peter already indicated that he and the others had ‘left all’ to follow him and now Jesus is telling them he is bailing out. Why does God do that? Why does He hide from us in our time of greatest need? I confess I have questioned His choices many times in my life. It seems just about the time I need Him most He is gone. I have found myself joining Peter and the twelve saying, ‘Lord, Where are you going’? Remember Mary Magdalene the morning of the resurrection? The events of the cross had taken her Lord away. She threw herself around his feet and clung to Him so hard that He had to ask her to let go so He could ascend to the Father.
I once heard a man of God say, “In the life of faith there are no questions.” However, I have found that a life ofquestions.jpg faith is often filled with questions. When Jesus goes away, when God hides from us, it creates a bushel basket full of questions. The creation of these questions is by design. Let us not forget the greatest man born of woman was confused about Jesus and asked, “Are you the one or should we expect another?” Even our Lord , while dying on the cross, was perplexed, when His Father hid from him. He said, “My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?” Here, too, in perhaps the greatest hour of need of any person who has ever lived, God appeared to be absent.
There is, perhaps, a little hint to the answer in the Song of Solomon. On at least two occasions Solomon mysteriously hides from his bride and leaves her to search through the streets for him. On one occasion her search ends when she spys him peering at her from behind a wall and through a lattice. It seems that her new husband never really left her at all but hid himself that he might surprise her with his presence at an appropriate time.
native-american-boy.jpg I am reminded of a story related by one of the Brothers in our Fellowship. He told of the ancient right of passage for young Native American boys. It seems that each boy had to pass rigid tests to become a man. The last and most significant test was that the young Brave was taken out into the deep woods, blindfolded. To pass the test he must remain at his post during the night and endure all the frightening sounds and threatening voices from without and within. Through the night the Coyotes and wolves cried, the Wildcats stalked and the Owls hooted. The boy’s imagination magnified each sound into something it was not. It’s interesting how much worse sounds and experiences are, when you can’t see and you are all alone. The next morning the sunlight revealed not only a new day but each young Brave’s Father had been only a stone’s throw away all during the night. He had been there to drive away any threat to life or limb.
Why does God hide? I’m not sure I know nor can I give much of an answer but there is one thing I know. Moses let God lead him into the trap by the Red Sea and then divided it. Abraham placed his son on the altar and discovered a ram caught in the thicket. Jesus let Lazarus die and then raised him from the dead. “When we reach the end of our horded resources, our Father’s full giving is only begun”. Apparently, God longs for us to reach the end of ourselves and we only do that, when we think He is gone. When I have done all I can do and there is nothing left, God is just getting started. Jesus told Peter, I am going away and you cannot come now…” This frightened the Big Fisherman. However, it was during those hours, when Jesus hid from Peter that he discovered the weaknesses of his flesh and shallowness of his braggadocious resolve. That time of lonliness and fear turned a “weak”, Simon into “the Rock”, Peter. It made a follower into a leader. So, when the things life throws at you become overwhelming and God seems to be nowhere in sight, and all appears to be lost, remember you may be finished but God isn’t. You may be living in Friday but Sunday’s comin’. He may go away, but oh dear friend…He’s coming back, and during his apparent absence we discover our passion for him is greater and our love for him is deeper.

October 12th, 2007 Posted by | Discipleship, Faith | one comment