The Good and Hidden God

I found the following in a recent FB post by a former colleague:

God is always good, and perhaps at His very best when hidden from us!

Munch on that.

God is always good, and perhaps at His very best when hidden from us!

First, God is always good.  That fact about God’s character is indisputable.  The Scriptures loudly proclaim this to be truth and God’s track record attests to it.  He is good and He does good (Psalm 119:68).  Always.  Sometimes I become irked when people say and/or write “God is good” after they see or experience something which causes them joy.  God is good–always; in aneurysms, in bankruptcy, in cancer, in all the trials of life which come our way through nail-scarred hands.  God is always good.

But the sentence continues.

Second, God is perhaps at His very best when hidden from us.  In other words, God’s glory shines most brightly through His common grace and through His providential dealings.  Although an argument could be easily offered and defended that God is truly “at His very best” through the drama of redemption–the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit applying the work of Christ to hell-bent sinners like me–I appreciate the author’s sentiment.  Even though he cannot see God–even if God’s presence isn’t tangible–he trusts.  He clings to the previous proposition–the immutable goodness of God, and chooses to believe that God is not only present, but engaged.

Consider this paragraph from a book I am reading in preparation for a new course I will be teaching this fall:

“Luther goes so far as to say that vocation is a mask of God.  That is, God hides Himself in the workplace, the family, the Church, and the seemingly secular society.  To speak of God being hidden is a way of describing His presence, as when a child hiding in a room is there, just not seen.  To realize that the mundane activities that take up most of our lives–going to work, taking the kids to soccer practice, picking up a few things at the store, going to church–are hiding-places for God can be a revelation in itself.  Most people seek God in mystical experiences, spectacular miracles, and extraordinary acts they have to do.  To find Him in vocation brings Him, literally, down to earth, makes us see how close He really is to us, and transfigures everyday life” (God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life, Gene Edward Veith, Jr., Crossway Books, 2002, p.24).

I wonder what you might be going through today.  Are you facing a difficult situation? Would you describe your current condition as challenging?  Is your future hazy, perhaps even a bit scary?  If so, I exhort you to rest in the truth.  Take comfort in the unchanging character of God.  Remember that He is indeed active in the shadows.

Several years ago I went through a rather difficult trial.  In the midst of it, I wrote a poem entitled My God.  I’ll share it now, hoping you will be encouraged.  This entry concludes with a link to another blog–the author of which was at the movie theater in Colorado (the actual theater, just feet away from the shooter).  If you have the time, read her post before navigating to another page.  First, here’s the poem:

God, beautifully-creating God,
intelligently designing
His creation to perfection
commands with smallest words
a universe in grand complexion.

God, supernaturally-sustaining God,
mercifully holding
His possessions to redemption
bestows with triune wisdom
living gifts in rapid succession.

God, heavenly-sitting God,
sovereignly ruling
His galaxy to measure
dictates with loud decrees
for our great good and His great pleasure.

God, silently-speaking God,
imperceptibly moving
His will to perform
communicates with quiet nods
on days of sunshine, on days of storm.

God, graciously-saving God,
lovingly calling
His sheep into the fold
speaks resurrection words
of eternal glories still untold.

(You will find a more intimate poem about what we experienced on the Poems link above.)


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