Last time I wrote I suggested that one possibility for why God sometimes seems absent is that He knows we’ll seek Him more fervently if we don’t feel like He’s near. It was you staying where you were as long as you could see me, moving forward to follow me only when I ducked around the corner that put this train of thought in motion.
I also mentioned that lately I haven’t felt invigorated when studying my Bible, that the words lay flat on the page instead of jumping out at me like one of your pop-up books, the way it’s supposed to. I’m happy to say that changed yesterday.
It should come as no surprise to me by now that after hanging out with you today I’m beginning to understand why.
In a few weeks you’ll be nine months old. Mom and I have been feeding you solid foods on a regular basis. Not only that, we’ve started making you feed yourself. We’ve stopped showing you how to put the star-shaped block in the star-shaped hole or the triangle-shaped block in the triangle-shaped hole.
Instead, we let you figure it out for yourself. You get excited when you feed yourself and solve puzzles on your own. And, we celebrate right along with you.
I think sometimes God holds back His presence and doesn’t flood our hearts with feelings of awe and wonder so that we’ll sit down, all on our own, and work to discover new things about Him. Maybe He restrains Himself from being felt clearly to allow us the dignity of using our minds to gain a clearer understanding of who He is, how He operates, what He teaches, etc.
He grants us the thrill of seeking, searching and finding the greatest treasure in all the world: Himself. Sometimes He reveals Himself, but most often He calls us to dig deep in order to uncover His truth.
Sure, he could go on making our relationship with Him easy by doing all the work, like when we feed you. He could spell everything out like He often does in the gospels, and like we do with your puzzles. But He doesn’t, because He loves us and allows us the opportunity to love Him with all of our mind and all of our strength.
Far from suppressing our intellect, God enables and encourages His followers to exercise it. Sometimes that means taking His hands off, doing nothing, and letting us figure things out for ourselves. This is not God trying to elude us; it’s Him lovingly engaging us.
I love you, Lewis. I’m sorry if you think I’m a bad father when I set your bottle down in front of you and walk away. Everything you need to quell your hunger is in that bottle. I promise, you have the ability to pull life from it, all on you own. Thanks for showing me I have the ability to use the Bible in the same way.
Does it feel like God has gone silent?
Is it possible God has “taken His hands off” so you’ll become more hands on in your pursuit of Him?
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