Have you ever acted like a total maniac while searching for “lost” sunglasses on your own head? Or a missing phone already pressed against your ear? Or misplaced keys that were camouflaged in your very hand? Well I have. Couch cushions were frisked and mysterious purse contents dumped out. But those seemingly invisible valuables were RIGHT THERE the whole time—hidden in plain sight.
We’re frantically searching for meaning. Overwhelmed by the world around us. Silently screaming for answers. Wondering if there’s some kind of point. “Where are you, God?” we ask. Are you hiding? Are you even real? Can anybody hear me?
When Job lost everything—his family, his health, his home, his wealth, and even his reputation—He cried out to the Lord, who seemed to have gone missing. But when God finally responded, it wasn’t with an answer to his deepest questions or the reason behind his circumstance. Instead, God countered with a gentle interrogation (and a hint of booming sass).
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-6)
God pointed at His magnanimous creation and asked a rhetorical question: Who do you think did all this? Tell me, since you’re such the expert. Who spun this world into action? Who sustains the sun that keeps you warm and the atmosphere that lets you breathe? Who gave each piece of fruit it’s own sweet flavor and diverse package? Who designed the mathematical equations you work hard to figure out? Who lets the flower petals know when it’s time to open up? Who weaved together your very being and placed it on this planet at the just the right time? Who uniquely handcrafted you and loves you more than you can even imagine?
Oh, you think this is coincidence?
“Who kept the sea inside its boundaries as it burst from the womb, and as I clothed it with clouds and wrapped it in thick darkness? For I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores. I said, ‘This far and no further will you come. Here your proud waves must stop.’” (Job 38:8-11)
He designed every magical and breathtaking aspect of the cosmos to draw our wandering minds to true wonder and worship. Everything is intentional. In the form of babies, oceans, divine meetings, and big contagious smiles, He’s constantly wooing us back into His loving arms. Back to the One who created us in the first place.
“Do you know the laws of the universe? Can you use them to regulate the earth? Can you shout to the clouds and make it rain? Can you make lightning appear and cause it to strike you as direct? Who gives intuition to the mind and instinct to the heart?” (Job 38:33-36)
God didn’t randomly throw the world together, watch in complete shock as mankind fell, and then think: “Well, crap. How am I going to fix this?” He already knew all about us—even before we knew about ourselves. He already knew about our past and about our future and about our inadequacies and about our ugliest sin, yet He still decided to make us.
Even before God created the world, His plan was to save it.
“By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” (Hebrews 11:3)
Sure. He could’ve not created us at all or simply made us robots. But He didn’t do that. Instead, it was worth it for Him to go through this whole mess and big hassle so we could freely choose Him; so He could save us to be free.
There’s some brokenness and some heartache and some pain. That’s the fallen, imperfect, not-as-intended world that sin has distorted. But there’s also sparks of loveliness and joy and beauty and redemption and hope and buckets of grace. That’s His Kingdom busting through the jagged cracks of our stories.
I peeked into my daughter’s room last night while she was fast asleep. Everything was silent and still, except the soft hum of her breath. Her growing legs almost touch the end of her bed—she’ll be eight in a few days. But in a flashback of memories, I thought of her wiggling inside my belly while her daddy and I poked at her in utero. I thought of the first time she pulled herself up and stood proudly in her crib, cheesy smile looking over the wooden railing after a good nap. I thought of how she currently loves to writes us love notes, stands as grown as my shoulders are tall, and is finding her own understanding of Jesus’ grace.
The wind isn’t stagnant. The trees haven’t stopped producing fruit. The world is steadily growing, steadily cultivating, steadily looking around and looking for Him. Life is swirling and budding and changing all around us. We’re alive.
You want evidence for God? Google images from the Hubble telescope. You want proof that there’s more to a person than flesh and bones? Grab dinner with someone you love, look into their eyes, and catch a glimpse of their living soul. You want to trace God’s fingerprints?
Look around. They’re hidden in plain sight.