This week, Jesus will be with me even when I can’t see him anywhere.
Psalm 46: 1-3
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
You’ll want him wearing a flashing neon nametag … but God will sometimes seem to vanish — for your own good.
Dr. Tim Kimmel, the remarkable Christian leader who authored Little House on the Freeway and several other books, has a son appropriately named Colt. When Colt was 2, Tim was having a terrible time getting Colt to stay with him in public places. Finally, one day when Colt ran away from him in the mall, Tim didn’t go after him. He followed him, hiding from him in a place where he could keep his eye on him, and waited for Colt to realize he was lost — and panic.
Other adults in the mall saw Tim hiding from his son; and without knowing the history of the situation, they thought he was the most horrible father they had ever seen. But at the first possible moment, just as quickly as Tim could ascertain that his son had learned his lesson, he rushed to him and scooped him up into his arms and comforted him — and Colt Kimmel never again ran away from his dad in the mall.
When I am hurting, that’s the time to remember, Jesus hasn’t abandoned me. He is with me. If I ask him to, he is going to meet my need as wisely and as quickly as it can possibly be met while I keep growing … closer and closer to my total God-given potential.
When you’re hurting, people around you may say God doesn’t love you. “If Jesus were real, he would be bailing you out of this.” But Jesus is hiding in the mall. He is with you. He is watching you. He is growing you.
In Luke 7, when Jesus resurrected the son of the widow from Nain, people responded to the miracle by being “filled with awe” and “praising God.”
“God has come to help his people,” they declared. And they were right.
But had God come just to solve people’s immediate problems? No — the boy was destined to die again someday. From the short-term, temporal perspective, Jesus is often a disappointment.
We need to understand that Jesus has come to help us. “Has come” is a key phrase. He is here. He is present with us. He is in our lives, and he is helping us. Psalm 46 begins with David saying, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Maybe I’m getting rained on — beat up — kicked around. Maybe I’m feeling lost and panicky. Especially in ministry, the rain and the beatings and the kicks seem astonishingly frequent. But Jesus is with me! I’m learning! I’m growing! He loves me!
My Prayer for the Next Seven Days… Father, sometimes you seem so far away. Help me to trust you totally, even when I can’t see you or hear you or sense your presence. Somehow, let me know that you’re still working in me, for me, for the sake of fulfilling your dream of me! Amen.