God in the Shadows

Posted: April 19, 2004 in Everything

There is probably no more lonely a feeling than when we are disappointed with God. We think and expect something to be one way, and it turns out to be another. That kind of disappointment has visited and revisited our home a lot over the last few months. Death, reversals, rejection; they all have a way of questioning what we think life is and, more importantly, who we think God is.

Is God concerned about us–personally, intimately? Is God acting and active on our behalf? Or are we created vessels seeking to strain out the best of the numbered breaths we have been given? What is God up to, anyway? And why doesn’t He allow His faithful to peek behind the curtain to bear witness to all His plans?

Honestly, there are times when I fear that we are on our own, that life is random and God has gone on vacation. There are times that seem as though the vast emptiness I feel in the pit of my stomach–when disappointment comes–must be indicative of the void space of a creatorless creation. What explanation can be given about a God that asks us to speak to Him in prayer, but seems slow to respond? How can we explain a God that commands faithfulness and trust, but so frequently works in arenas we cannot see?

A God that works in the shadows, should not expect to be trusted, should He? The prostitute, the mugger, the cat-burglar and rapist all hide in the shadows for good reason; the evil they perpetrate is benefited by the darkness. Why would a good God not illuminate His handiwork in order to guide those who would willingly follow? If there is a plan for our lives, wouldn’t it work better if we could help work the plan?

All I can figure is that the plan must not need our help, that God doesn’t need an assist. Perhaps trust and faithfulness are the only designs we can bring to the plan. Or better yet, the plan exists to produce in us faithfulness and trust and the particulars are incidental. It must be that God’s plan is only to bring us to faithfulness and trust and the distinctives of our lives are like roads in ancient Rome; bumpy, dangerous and crooked, but all leading to center of the great kingdom?


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