Have you ever watched an illusionist at work?
Which cup has the pea? How did that coin get behind my ear? How did you know it was the Queen of Hearts? Where did the lady go?
So many questions!
Illusionists used to be called Magicians. A few abracadabras and a wave of a magic wand and the proverbial rabbit would pop out of the hat or the neverending multicoloured scarf would appear. But we all knew that they didn’t have such superpowers as to make cute pets appear and disappear. So they owned it for what it was. An illusionist is one who is able to make it seem like something has disappeared.
We know when we’re watching that it hasn’t actually gone away – we just can’t work out where it is. (If you’re up for a spoiler – watch here for the disappearing handkerchief trick explained.)
In Psalm 10 v 1 David says, “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself when I need you most?”
Where are You God?
Ever asked that question before? Ever wrestled with that sinking, desperate feeling that God is somehow absent? He’s busy elsewhere right when you need Him? Ever found yourself searching to see Him – is that Him way off in the distance?
David is looking for God in the midst of seeing a whole lot of bad things happening. The wicked are prospering, evil seems to be winning, greed and self-focus appear to be rewarded, and people are rejecting the laws of Love. Where are You, God?
As the Psalm continues we follow David’s journey of discovery. Oh, there You are! You are helping the oppressed, comforting the broken, hearing the cry of the weary and wounded; defending the defenceless. You weren’t gone afterall, I just couldn’t see You.
The illusion of a disappearing God.
Oh God, give us eyes to see You. When You seem far away, when You feel absent or hidden. Help us find You amongst the wickedness, the brokenness and the pain.