The Great Blue Heron is one of my favorite birds on Dauphin Island. They are large beautiful birds standing 48 inches tall and have a wingspan of 5 feet. You would think that a bird that large would be nearly impossible to miss. Not so. I’ve looked right at one and have not seen it until something disturbed it and it took flight.
Things like that happen to us in everyday life. Have you ever gotten frustrated when looking for something you know is there, but you can’t locate it? You either abandon the search or, in my case, I call for Miss Sue. My good wife can usually locate what I’m looking for quickly. She then sweetly says, “It’s hiding right here in plain view”. And it usually is! It’s like the heron that’s in plain view, but nearly invisible.
The kingdom of God is often like that. We search for the Lord and for answers to life’s problems. If we do not see Him immediately, all too often we desert the quest and move on in disappointment. We suffer on without His guidance or help.
Hear what God’s Word has to say on the matter:
- Jeremiah 29:12-14 (NCV) – “Then you will call my name. You will come unto Me and pray unto Me, and I will listen to you. You will search for Me. And when you search for Me with all your heart, you will find Me! I will let you find Me, says the Lord.”
- Acts 17:27 (NCV) – “God wanted them to look for Him and perhaps search all around for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any of us.”
- James 4:8 (NKJ) – “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts you double-minded.”
Let me share a Biblical example. Two disciples were walking away from Jerusalem soon after the death of Jesus on the cross. They were focused on their sense of loss and resulting confusion. They barely noticed that a stranger came close and walked beside them. They were discussing all of the things that had happened the past few days. The two disciples didn’t recognize that the stranger walking with them was really Jesus. He was hiding, as it were, ‘in plain view’. How often is He with us in troubled times and we are oblivious to His presence? Circumstances may obscure Him from our view. Things like self-absorption, pain, wounded hearts, and disappointment often make it all but impossible for us to see Him.
It is also possible that He chooses to remain unrecognized for a time. He may be looking to see if our focus is on our temporal problems or if we have faith necessary to see in Him. Hebrews 11:6 states, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” He wants us to know that His presence is not dependent on the circumstances around us or on our emotional state. We must have faith in Him and His word. He is not far from us. He wants us to find Him. He wants us to draw near to Him, so He can draw near to us.
At the invitation of the two disciples, Jesus went into the house with them. Jesus sat down with them at the table. He took bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. Luke 24:31, “And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him.”
He said, “And, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). Amen.
~ Brother Roy