Do you remember being a child alone in your bedroom at night? I remember that I always had to sleep with my door open...I felt so alone if the door was shut. As a matter of fact, if I was acting up, not wanting to sleep, fussing, or whatever, my parents could always shut me up just by threatening to shut my door. No way did I want my bedroom door closed. I think I found a lot of comfort in just hearing their voices in the living room as I was drifting off to sleep. Now, I can't sleep if the bedroom door is open. Go figure.
The other day, I was reading the book "Stronger" by Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, and he shared a very interesting illustration. He was referring to those times in our lives when God seems absent, when we just can't seem to feel His presence. See if this illustration speaks to you like it does to me...
"I think in this case, it's a little like being a child in your bedroom at night. It's dark, and so black that you can't see anything. Your door is closed, so you can't hear anything outside your room. Yet your favorite pillow and nightstand are still there. Your parents are nearby, too. They haven't left you. In fact, your mother is in the kitchen preparing lunch for the next day. She's humming as she works, because she's baking chocolate chip cookies to surprise you.
It's a simple illustration, but you get the idea -- circumstances may make it hard to sense God's presence, yet He's still there. He hasn't left us. And more often than we realize, His "hiddenness" allows Him to work on our behalf in a way that wouldn't be possible if we could see Him.
To take the analogy further, if you're a child in bed at night, you could jump out of bed, turn on the light, and rush into the kitchen to make sure Mom is still around. You could do that all night long. But that isn't what's best for you, is it? It would leave you exhausted the next day, and it would spoil the surprise of the chocolate chip cookies. You'd be far better off to trust that Mom is there, that she has things under control, and that all you need to do now is go to sleep."
I love that! What a great reminder to continue trusting God, even when we can't feel His presence. Or when the bedroom door is closed, and we just don't understand what He is up to in our lives. Definitely something to think about during the darkest of times.
And I don't know about you...but I don't want to miss out on the chocolate chip cookies!