I will apologize in advance for telling an old joke:
Three pre-adolescent boys had a well-deserved reputation as mischief makers in school. They were not bad kids; they just had a knack for rocking the boat and disrupting the learning process for everyone. Finally, their teacher had enough and sent them to the principal’s office. (This is where you can tell it’s an old joke). The first one was brought in, while the others waited in the hallway. The principal, thinking that these boys just needed to be a little more aware of their circumstances and see the big picture, began with a question:
“Young man, where is God?” the principal asked. Blank stare. Long. Blank. Stare. After a few moments of silence, followed by a few of stern lecture, the first boy was released and the second called in. On his way out the first one said to the second, “Look out! God is missing and they think we had something to do with it!”
Yeah, I know. It was bad.
Of course those who believe in the God of the Bible know that He is everywhere. At least we say we know that, but in reality, it seems that we only expect to encounter Him in certain places. He shows up at church on Sunday (hopefully) and maybe we find Him when we take time to read the Bible (if we are paying attention). Maybe He’s there when we do something kind for someone or when we are the recipients of compassionate actions.
But we really don’t expect to find Him in Wal-Mart, or the high school basketball game, or the newspaper, or in the novel we are reading (unless it is a “Christian” novel). Oh, we might say we can find Him there (especially when we are using those activities as a reason for why we weren’t at church on Sunday), but we really don’t EXPECT to find Him in those places.
But, what if we did? Expect Him.
What if we deliberately looked and listened? What if we asked Him to show us how He is working in our everyday activities? What if we asked Him to give us a special “nudge” during the day when something is done or said that teaches us something about the nature of God or about how He wants His people to live? What if we deliberately entered each day LOOKING for Him, EXPECTING to find Him, and determined to JOIN Him in what He is doing in our world?
Jeremiah 29:12-14 (New Living Translation): “In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord.
Our lives matter so much to God that He does not want us to be limited to only finding Him in church, in the Bible, or in only doing “churchy” things. Where will you look for Him today?
He is not missing.