Devotional Thoughts

When You Can’t See God

Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd for he was small in stature.

Luke 19:3

Ever found yourself in one of those seasons where it was really hard to see God? Your theology tells you that He is there but you just don’t see it. Pain, failure, disappointment, death, despair, life in general…they have all moved into your way and blocked your view of the Savior. Whether or not that’s you today, here are some bullet points for you to chew on throughout the day. Some will encourage. Some will edify. Some will exhort (fancy word for kick you in the teeth). Regardless, I pray that they will be a source of blessing. Enjoy.

  • Trying. Wanting and trying is not the same thing. Many of us want to see Jesus. Few are actually trying. Zaccheus was trying. He was extending both energy and effort towards fulfilling that longing. My Bible tells me that He is found when I seek Him. My Bible tells me that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Seldom in life do I find anything unless I am looking for it. Yes, I know. The blind squirrel does indeed find the occasional nut…but that is not God’s intent. We see Him most often when we spend time looking for Him.
  • Unable. Sometimes the issue is one of the limitations. For Zaccheus there was the natural limitation of his height. Small guy. Big crowd. Just wasn’t going to happen. But Zaccheus didn’t give up. There is something to be said for perseverance. We all have limitations in life that keep us from seeing God. Work. School. Family responsibilities. Health. The challenge is to not allow those types of things to become excuses. Find a way through the strength He alone can give to move beyond your natural limitations. Keep at it no matter what it takes.
  • Crowd. The crowd had come between Zaccheus and Jesus. What are those things that we have allowed into our lives that have created space between us and our Savior? Sin? Habits? Hobbies? People? Pleasure? For each of us it is usually something different. But all of us struggle against those things that fight to keep us from God. Sometimes they are obviously wrong. Sometimes they are more devious in nature and appearance. The bottom line is that there is something wrong if it keeps us from Jesus. Follow the example of Zaccheus. Get away from the thing that keeps you from Jesus. If you can’t get through the crowd, get above it.
  • Jesus. Warning. This will sound cliche’. Doesn’t make it any less true, though. Just because Zaccheus couldn’t see Jesus didn’t mean He wasn’t there. God has promised never to leave you or abandon you. I don’t know what has hidden Him from your view just now but I do know that He has not left. He is still there. Sometimes I wonder what might have happened if Zaccheus had just exercised a little more patience. If that day was indeed one of divine appointment, wouldn’t Jesus have eventually made an intentional move towards Zaccheus? Maybe He was. Maybe Jesus was trying the whole time to get to Zaccheus. But first the crowd gets in the way. And then Zaccheus takes off running. Just speculation on my part. But I like to think so. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. And it is hard to imagine that on that day there was anyone in the crowd more lost than Zaccheus. It really encourages me to think that when Zaccheus couldn’t see Jesus because of the crowd that maybe, just maybe, Jesus saw him. I’m not sure about that. But I do know that just a little while later Jesus did see him. In fact, He stopped everything He was doing to take notice of a little man stuck out on a limb.

Let me encourage you today to hang on just a little while longer. The branch might be cracking under the strain. But the Savior is coming. And with one invitation your whole life can be changed. You will see with your eyes the very One who seems hidden just now.

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27:13