By Pastor Bruce Finfrock
Consider Four Ways God’s Absence Can Be Our Joy
There is Pleasure in Pursuit
We do not pursue what we already possess. God uses the distance of His full presence to entice us to strive for Him. Psalm 34:10: “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”
There is Elation in Expectation
Do you remember what it felt like to be a child on Christmas Eve? You would wait eagerly in your bed for that moment when you could run downstairs and discover what untold treasures lay beneath the tree hidden behind wrapping paper. As our desire for God’s nearness rises in this fallen world, our expectancy of His coming fullness grows. Hebrews 9:28: “Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.”
There is Wonder in Waiting
I miss Sandy when I’m not with her. Why? Because I love her. That may seem like an obvious statement, but we miss this logic all the time in our relationship with God. We think that something is wrong with us when we don’t feel as close to God as we want. He feels distant. Could it simply be because we love Him?
There is Merriment in Mystery
We love a good mystery story. I love discovering things about Sandy that I never knew before even after 48 years! I love discovering a new bit of truth in a biblical text that I’ve read a hundred times before. But most mysteries come to an end. Once mystery is resolved, the thrill of the mystery fades, and there is no greater mystery than God. Romans 11:33: “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out.”
Beyond the mystery is the discovery. Each layer we peel back reveals just how deep the journey of discovering God’s majesty truly is—and that discovery is never-ending. This constant uncovering is but a glimpse into what we will enjoy for eternity. What a gift of grace it is that God gives us a foretaste of this eternal discovery as we press into those places in our lives where He feels absent. Our pursuing, expecting, wanting, inquiring, and wondering are but an appetizer to the never-ending feast of revelation we will receive when His full presence is revealed.
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