I remember back when I was in high school and I didn’t get accepted to go to the college I wanted to go to. But there was only one university I had wanted to go to. There was no back-up plan in my mind. I checked out this camp-one-year Bible school at a camp in the middle of nowhere. When I was there, I wandered out in the middle of night. You’ve got to understand, I’m a city-slicker, I’m from Chicago. So I’m wandering around this camp in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere. Suddenly I approach a hill area and I realized that the large lake the camp was situated on was not far away. It was pitch black out, so I could not see the lake, I couldn’t smell the lake, I couldn’t taste it or touch it. I couldn’t hear it. But I knew it was there. It was because of the wind. The wind had suddenly picked up as I moved closer to this hill that lead to the lake.
In the same way, often we find in our lives that God is nowhere to be found. We cannot see Him, we cannot smell Him, we cannot taste Him or feel Him. Yet He is there. We know this because if we’re still for long enough we can feel the effects of Him working and moving in our lives. Jacob wrote, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” (Genesis 28:16)
“Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it.”
Yet, He is there… always present. He is at work. He is busy doing His God-sized projects. Despite how you’re feeling, or what you’re seeing, He is there. Paul reminds us that God is everywhere, “for in Him we live and move and exist…” (Acts 17:28) Jesus said in John 20:29, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “We walk by faith, not by sight.”
“Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker–An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’? Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ Or to a woman, ‘To what are you giving birth?’ Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: ‘Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons, And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands.’ ‘It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands And I ordained all their host. ‘I have aroused him in righteousness And I will make all his ways smooth; He will build My city and will let My exiles go free…” (Isaiah 45:9-13)
I love the analogies that the LORD speaks through Isaiah with, it makes things so clear. Will a piece of clay say to the potter, ‘what are you making?’ Think of it… ask any pregnant woman, ‘to what are you going to give birth to??’ Well, that’s how God takes our impatient questions… ‘Lord, what are you doing in my life??’ ‘Where is this going??’ ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING??!!’ Don’t get me wrong, I believe God loves honest-sincere-heart-felt questions from those seeking Him. But what I’m concerned about is when such question demonstrates our lack of faith and trust in Him.
Hear God’s answer into your life today: God’s like, “Chill it, dude… I’m doing what I do best… I’m preparing you, using you, to do some great and mighty things for My Kingdom.” Such doubting questions show a lack of faith and trust in God—in our own hearts.
God says, “Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons, And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands.’ ‘It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands And I ordained all their host.” I love that. Commit to God the work of His hands. God’s like, “Trust Me, I got everything under control, I’m the one who made the world, made you, and everything else.” You and I need to learn to trust God. We need to learn to trust God with our future. We’re the clay, God is molding us into something great… if we’d just let Him do His work. Remember what Paul wrote in Philippians, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Recently, I flew down to Dallas to go to a friend’s wedding. I was meeting up with a mutual friend at the airport we were going to rent a car and drive up to the wedding. By the time we found each other and got to the rental car place and finally got ourselves a car it was getting late and we still had a long drive ahead of us. Trying to leave the rental car garage, we had to get our paper-work checked over. The guy apologetically told us that there was some major mistake it was like we didn’t even have the rental car and we had to return inside to the front desk. This really ticked me off, I walked back in the building ready to grab some employee’s neck. The lady who ended up helping me was very apologetic and without me even asking signed me up for a free tank of gas for my troubles.
“Surely the Lord was in this place and I did not even know it.”
I walked back to the rental car ready to hit the road and a smile on my face. “Yes, we got a free tank of gas, isn’t that cool?” My friend corrected me, “Wow, look how God blessed us!” That’s so true isn’t it? It was a blessing from God. Surely, God was in this place and I didn’t even know it. No matter the situation or circumstances, God is always at work behind the scenes whether or not I will acknowledge that He is there and He is working. It’s so easy to forget that He’s there. But He is. He is always there, at work.
I don’t doubt that any one reading this wants to know that God is working in your life. If you want to break that addiction to seeing, you must confess to God that you often haven’t been looking for what He’s been doing or acknowledging His handiwork in your life. Pray, “God, help me to see what you’re doing by faith, help me to recognize even the small blessing and troubles in my life as a piece of your greater-God-sized plans in my life. Help me to acknowledge each and every blessing from you and to be thankful. Help me see what you’re doing in my life today. Amen.”
You know, looking back to that year I spent at that camp before going off to college was probably one of the best years of my life. Yes, this city-slicker ended up going to that one-year-Bible school thing at that camp in the middle of nowhere. I made relationships that I have to this day and God stretched me and did work in my life that I had no idea He would be doing. I spent the following four summers back at that camp even while I was at the college I wanted to be at. God knew what He was doing all along even though I was clueless.
“That they may see and recognize, And consider and gain insight as well, That the hand of the LORD has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it.” (Isaiah 41:20)