Precious is the innocent moment when a tiny child, confidently proclaims, "I'll bet you can't find me," while his feet or body are conspicuously sticking out in a very openly exposed place. But, we pretend, for the sake of the child's innocent heart, that we cannot see him and we say, "Where could Johnny be? I can't find hin anywhere?"
We allow him to play at being real, and honor his developing ability to interact with life.
Snickers and giggles abound as we look high and low while so very near to the beloved child.
And so, in comparison to God's transcendence, He allows us, as mere toddlers, to play at life and seek to grow and explore and exercise our limited human authority to bring about our goals and purposes in life and to expound on our own prowess. But sometimes, He knows, our lives will come crashing against conflict, difficulty, brokenness in this fallen world And He has planned to be there to walk each step through the dark, mysterious times when we simply do not have black and white answers.
As our divine parent, He knows, at times, we will be broken hearted and He sees us cry and is sad when we hurt and His loving arms extend His love and grace to cover these places where we cannot bring wholeness. It hurts to feel lost and to be sad in this, the broken place. God knows this is not the place where we will ever find perfection, completeness or where our hearts or desires will be perfectly fulfilled or complete. We were made to love--yet some relationships will never be whole in this world. We were created for wholeness, but sometimes human frailty and weakness and fear and lack of trust break relationships. We cannot control the behavior or responses of others, but we can depend on God's response of love and compassion to us, His children.
Hebrews tells us that Jesus was tempted in all the ways that we were tempted. He is a God who can sympathize with our weaknesses, because He lived subject to the darkness of the world He entered. It was his own people who rejected Him--His love, His truth. His leaders--the Pharisees, the ones who most studied His words, were the deceived ones--those who sincerely thought they were following God, but in reality were caught in their own rules of religion. It was a form of religion without the heart.
And so sometimes, we weak humans are subject to the same kinds of broken relationships. There are times when love must be firm-not giving in to compromise and at this time, separation happens. Other times love is not reciprocated or equal or is rejected. There are times when God, because He wants to sanctify me in my own life--to make me more like Jesus, has to say no, has to discipline. He disciplines that we might grow, and share in His holiness.
And sometimes us loving others means a separation even as Jesus felt separation from those He wanted to redeem.
He patiently leads, guides, comforts and attends to us as we slowly mature and gain perspective and wisdom of how to be shrewd as serpents but innocent as doves. But when we are lost and feel alone, God is never lost and we are never lost to him. He always sees us wherever we think we are hiding or in the dark.
"Where can I go from thy spirit or where can I flee from thy presence? Even the darkness is not dark to thee and the night is as bright as the day." Psalm 139
Eyes wide, glancing out from a weakly attempted smile, my dear friend was making a noble attempt to greet me with a cheerful heart. Cherished time with friends far away is a gift indeed.
Embracing her in a round body caress, I whispered, "You are so very dear to me and to our precious Lord. He loves you more than you will ever know. He sees you, He is with you and He will hold you and guide you."
Tears filled and burst over her dark black eyelashes as she whispered,
"I feel so lost. I can't find my old self anymore. I don't know how to come back to the light."
"You feel lost, I said, but God is not lost and He has not lost you. Just wait and be still and in time the light will come gently pouring into your heart," my voice whispered with as much love as I could pour into her darkness.
God's ways are always best and bring health, joy, beauty and real life--eventually. He shares our grief, frustrations and grieves with us in our broken hearts. However, as a loving Father, He must interfere with our own limited expectations of how we falsely believe that we can find true joy and happiness in this world if we just try to control it enough. But I have had to learn that I am a toddler who has so little perspective, think I am hidden, or perhaps at times, in fear of being lost, can pretend and play and at times, pour out tears of sorrow at the difficulties and barriers He allows in my life. We are all immature, short sighted and limited, being held fast by this earth, that God has to pry our hands free from our strong clutches on this world, to force us to look more heavenly and more astutely towards eternity where we will live forever and ever in His true light.
We may feel lost. He is never lost or has lost control over us.
"I am with you always, even unto the end of the earth."
Until we close our eyes here and awaken into His lovely presence.
Rest in this. You are seen. You are loved. You will never be alone.