So, I thought, maybe we should start learning to sign right now, just in case we need it sometime. Then I thought, how long will I be able to see him signing? When my sight goes, will he be totally lost to me? My stomach did a little flip and I sat down quickly. Panic set in for a moment before I calmed down enough to realize that would not be the case. I would still have the sense of touch. I have held those hands every day for nearly 37 years now and laid on that chest every night. And though his speech patterns may deteriorate without his hearing, no one could ever mistake that voice. I can sign to him and he can talk to me. Whew! What a relief.
Col 1:15, 1 Tim 1:17 and Heb 11:27 tell us that God is invisible. Jesus says in John 5:37 that no one has seen his form or heard his voice. And because of that, people choose to believe he is not there. Job mentions in 23:8,9 that when God is working, you cannot “perceive him.” Don’t you sometimes get frustrated and wonder, “Why is it that Almighty God chooses to work in ways that do not make his existence obvious?” Or doesn’t he? Maybe it’s similar to Jesus choosing to speak in parables. He said the ones who wanted to hear him could, and the ones who didn’t, wouldn’t, Matt 13:10-17. He wants us to show a little desire and put in a little effort.
People who want to see the hand of God, need only to stand on the seashore and look out at the endless waves, or look up in the night sky and try to count the stars. People with the right heart need only see the rebirth of plants and flowers in the spring, watch the flights of migrating birds, or experience the birth of their own children. They need only to see the sun rise and set day after day, or understand the symbiotic relationships between species to comprehend the power of an Eternal Creator who still makes it all work, whether we can see him or not.
Paul says in that famous passage in Romans that God did not leave the heathen nations without some sort of witness to his existence. All they had to do was look around them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse, Rom 1:20.
Just like I will always know if Keith is there whether I can see him or not, we can always know that God is there. Just as with Job, even when we cannot see him working, we can know that he is. And that assurance gives us hope that the things that happen here, no matter how bad they are, are being used as part of his plan. We may not know the plan or how it will ultimately turn out in its specifics, but we can know he is working. And that’s all we need to know.
Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold, Job 23:8-10.