When I visited my little niece and nephew in Germany a few years ago their favorite game was playing hide-and-seek. For some reason the oldest of children’s games is still quite popular. While playing games and hiding out is fun, a hiding God is not. Have you ever felt stuck in a situation wondering: “Where on earth is God?!” Welcome to the club of God-seekers!
We know the feeling of helplessness creeping in when nothing seems to work – especially after praying (sometimes viewed as the last resort). Frustrated, the psalmist here prays (Psalm 10:1):
“God, are you avoiding me? Where are you when I need you?” *Bible Version: The Message
We have to come to terms with the fact that not everything about our mysterious God is explainable. – And I believe that this is a good thing, even though it is perplexing us at times. We need to remember that God was here first; He preceded His creation; and since He has lived forever, His experience is simply beyond us. Bearing this in mind, can we appreciate His complexity?
Speaking of complexity, even human beings are hard to predict, although we are often tempted to do just that. We see certain behavior patterns, and then we jump to conclusions. If we seriously expect people to always behave the same way we will be quickly disappointed. People are known to be a wildcard. The 1993 American fantasy comedy film “Groundhog Day” plays off of that notion. In an effort to create a perfect date for a special lady, one of the main characters in the movie tries to win the girl’s favor by memorizing all her likes and dislikes. Spoiler alert (if you haven’t watched this movie yet): it ain’t working!
If we cannot predict people much less can we predict the Lord.
Where does this leave us when we feel frustrated with God? I am a firm believer of venting in the privacy of the prayer closet. God won’t be offended by our emotional outbursts during these one-on-one sessions. And if venting to God prevents us from doing something stupid, then our prayers are already working.
God always listens to what we have to say, so if you are already praying, don’t give up just yet. Continue to seek Him out. And if you haven’t prayed, by all means, try it. Tell God how you feel. Be direct with Him. And as you pray, get ready for some curve-balls flying – because God is in the habit of answering prayers in most surprising ways.