Religion roundtable: “Why does God seem hidden from us?”
Feb 09, 2013 | 2482 views |  0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There’s no easy answer

I hope people who read this will understand this is a short and general response to very personal situations. Every individual and each situation is so different, there are no pat answers. Often when we are in the middle of a personal storm, our vision is limited by our pain and tears. So please hear my response in general terms, not in terms of your specific situation, otherwise it will seem cruel and heartless.

We view life with a finite perspective, because the people we love and care about are in the present. The Hebrew people have had a long and beautiful relationship with God revealed and involved in their lives, even down to what kind of food they should eat. They also had times when God was silent: the 400 years of Egyptian slavery, the 70 years in Babylonian exile, the 400 years after the last prophet Malachi spoke.

Yet all along, God was looking out for the People of Israel and their interests. All along God was looking at the big picture. A day was coming in which all the nations and people of the world would be blessed through the Hebrew people.

When we go through the dark passages of our lives, we want instant responses to our prayers. We want solutions based upon our recommendations. Sometimes, when things fail to happen on our schedule, we think God is silent and heaven is closed. It is in these times, when things could not get any worse, that God is holding us in the palm of His hand.

Often when we think God is hidden, it is we who are not connecting. I love this Scripture from the writings of St. Paul. Before we call out, we find that God has already opened the door.

Peter Hawker, First United Methodist Church, Anniston

His presence is everywhere

The revelation of God’s character is only hidden from those who have not come into the knowledge and understanding of who he is. His presence can be found in every aspect and dimension of our lives in the natural realm, as well as the spiritual.

He has given us ears to hear and eyes to see. With our ears we are to listen carefully to his word by spending uninterrupted, unhurried time with him meditating on the attributes of his sovereignty, then teaching others. To experience his blessings we are to demonstrate his character by seeking fresh revelation, leading with love, exhibiting genuine compassion while joyfully embracing his tenets. His created universe is nothing less than spectacular. Our world displays his glory in the everyday ordinary that is anything but.

From Genesis 1:1 through 2:3-5, the history of the heavens and the earth is performance art that cannot be duplicated or disputed. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us of this: “The first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this: that all reality hinges on moral foundations. In other words, that this is a moral universe and that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws.”

In Luke 19:36-42 when the Pharisees complained about the people praising him, Jesus said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”

Beverly Mattox, Word Alive International Outreach
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