Has anyone seen God?
I seem to have misplaced him. Last time we met He was by my side, holding my hand, and we spoke to each other in that strange way that prayer connects with the ethereal without using real words. My life had clear direction, with everything given to me by God at the time I needed it most. During the month that followed, everything vanished. God gave, and God took away.
And somewhere along the way I lost God.
Don’t get me wrong: I still believe in God; I still know in my heart of hearts that I am a Christian; my life still belongs to Jesus. And I don’t like it when I lose something.
My singing voice is currently out of action, and worship is my main way of connecting. I have tried following the Examen prayer pattern, where the end of each day is spent seeing God at work. I could see what He had done, but I couldn’t find Him. So I tried reading scripture and other Christian books – again I could see the logic behind the words, but I couldn’t see Him. I tried attending a conference – 2,500+ Christians all worshipping, accompanied by high quality teaching, demonstrated the active power of Christ at work. But I couldn’t find Him myself. This morning I attended the best Easter service I have ever been to, and yet I still couldn’t find God. Now more than ever I live the words from Mark 9:24 – “I believe, help my unbelief.”
I have lost God.
But He has not lost me.
While at that conference I went to a seminar on hearing from God, hoping to discover how to find Him. I sat near the back, behind a pillar. The speaker said ‘and now time for some victims, er, volunteers – we are going to prophecy over you.’ She chose four people, who she said the Holy Spirit was highlighting to her.
She chose me.
I stood, filled with apprehension. Could God possibly know where I was, even though I had lost Him? Was I about to receive some pseudo-generic words of wisdom that people thought were encouraging, but really were just nice words? Was I actually going to hear something useful?
The first person spoke of filling the cracks in my life, another of confidence, another of hope. Another spoke of the impact my words would have on peoples lives. More positive words were spoken, each one potentially generic. Until one. One phrase was given that meant something and gave value to every other word. It was, if you like, a bit of holy humour to catch my attention: “you’re a man, not a boy”. Baring in mind several youth leaders keep mistaking me for one of the teenagers, despite being double their age, this proved one thing beyond all doubt.
I do not know where God can be found.
But He knows how to find me.
He knows where I am, and stretches towards me.
So I will continue to search, and be strengthened by the experience.
God? I’m coming!