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“If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me, and the light around will be night” — even the darkness is not dark to you. The night shines like the day; darkness and light are alike to you,” (Psalm 139 11-12 CSB).
Believers sometimes refer to “a dark night of the soul” when God appears to be absent. But God is never really far. The Psalms assure us an ‘all-knowing, ever-present’ God continually surrounds the believer (Psalm 139 CSB).
Yet there can be circumstances in our lives that appear to hide Him. Perhaps the most obvious would be when we run toward sin while running away from God. Of course, God will seem far away when we are running away from Him! God redeemed us for holiness of heart and mind — to flee from evil toward Him and do that which is good.
A second circumstance would be the harboring of unbelief in the heart. The writer to the Hebrews exhorts the Christian, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God,” (Hebrews 3:12 NKJV). There again — it is an unfaithful heart that has decided to depart from God, not an unfaithful God who has decided to depart from us.
A third circumstance is being ‘double-minded’ so that one cannot receive the wisdom or revelation that comes from God. To such, it’s no wonder God appears to be absent. (James 1:5-8 NKJV).
Finally, our faith could be tested through an affliction, be it of the mind or of the body, when we suffer physical or emotional pain, or a major loss of health, or we lose a friend or family member to some tragedy of ill fate. But God is near; most likely working ‘behind the scenes’, (Isaiah 45:15 MSG).
“Truly, O God of Israel, our Saviour, you work in mysterious ways,” (Isaiah 45:15 NLT).
Such are the times to look above and ask a very present God what He has to teach.
by Toni Babcock
Minnesota, USA - firstname.lastname@example.org
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