When You Can't See God

What do you do when you can’t see God, when He seems distant, behind a constant swirl of clouds? I want to share a few thoughts that have been helpful for me:

  • Be open to some unseen need for repentance. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8) This is not always the cause, but we are all sinners - we’re really good at sin - automatic, sometimes. Stop - how are you responding internally to this very bullet point? Indignation? Perhaps then I’m right, and pride is a good place to start. 
  • But sometimes God causes unceasing dust-storms to kick up in life that seemingly never let up. Sometimes we can’t see God for all the dust and life debris swirling before us. In these times, we are so busy, and we’ve tried to pare back, but there really is no more paring back we can do. It is good to recognize this. 
  • But perhaps your faith is actually what God is after in the dust storm. Many of us withdraw from real life, to a make-believe one, one where we can handle everything. Then we call the order and comforts of our withdrawn, “I can handle it” life God’s blessing upon us. But when God imposes more dust-storms back upon us, our response is to withdraw back again, back to make-believe. That becomes our default response - withdrawal. No wonder we can’t see God; we keep recoiling from His hand. What then? Some will tell us to rehearse verses from Romans 8, and that may be helpful. But sometimes, we simply don’t have the opportunity to contemplate deep thoughts and string together glorious truths for our souls. In these moments, let me encourage you to simply remind yourself of God. Look up to Him, where you last saw Him, where you know He should be. Sometimes all we can muster - and all we need - is to remind ourselves that yes, He is there, though I cannot see Him. And He rewards those who seek Him (Heb. 11:6). Your simple faith in God pleases God enough, far beyond anything else you could possibly do for Him today. 
  • Tell someone else. No, really: tell a couple people of your plight. Ask them to pray with you. 
  • Realize that this is no neutral moment. Believe the promise: “If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever” (1 Chronicles 28:9). 
  • You will find the proof, the guarantee of this promise, as you look to Jesus’ cross.