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When God Is Hard To See

by Stacy Henagan

Not long ago we received a phone call one evening. A friend’s son had committed suicide. Just a few weeks later, another phone call came, this time at four o’clock in the morning. A friend in our church had died in a car accident. Then just a few weeks after that, the call came at midday. A friend’s husband had left her. It was like dominoes. The calls kept coming one after the other, and I was afraid of what the next call might be.

In times like that, when so many bad things happen at once, we may struggle to see evidence of God’s hand or face—really any body part will do. We long to know that He’s still close and in control. But sometimes, to be quite honest, He just seems to be . . . absent.

He’s not, of course. His promise to never leave us will always hold. But what do we do when we just can’t see Him or feel Him? How do we access the comfort we need?

First of all, we need to keep in mind that while He may not be visible and audible, God can always be seen and heard. God leaves trace evidence of Himself everywhere. We just have to look for it. And nothing makes us look for light more than darkness. But I’ve found that the darkness can be a great illuminator of God’s light.

Jeremiah 29:13-14 promises, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.”

Seekers have privileges. They find Jesus.

What does it mean to seek Him? We can seek Him mainly through prayer, in the Word, through worship. But if a constant connection with God is our mindset and discipline, then we can make shopping at the grocery store or driving in our car opportunities to search for Him. Seeking God is a heart posture of desiring Him. May we be people who seek God and run to Him rather than worry, instead of relying on old habits, material things, and temporal enjoyment. Matthew 6:33 promises that when we do this, He’ll take care of everything else we need. We can seek Him not just for pain relief or miracles, not just for quick fixes, but to engage with Him in conversation and relationship. We can seek Him to know Him as intimately as He knows us—impossible, of course, but at least we can try. Every layer He allows us to peel back is a privilege that only those who seek Him are rewarded.

God wants us to make searching for His heart a priority. But that doesn’t mean God plays hard to get. No, He tells us to seek Him because He wants to be found.

Some versions of the Bible translate Jeremiah 29:14 as “I will let you find me” (NRSV). I love that wording because it reminds me of a loving parent playing hide-and-seek with a small child. Little ones are rarely efficient seekers, but parents make sure their search is rewarded. They’ll hide in easy places or even stomp out to reveal themselves.

I believe God does that with us. Yes, He wants us to seek Him. But in His loving-kindness—and out of His great love—He not only lets us find Him but also actively reveals Himself to us.


Stacey Henagan appears this Monday on LIFE TODAY. Taken from Breathe Again by Stacy Henagan. Copyright ©2020 by Stacy Henagan. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.