God Hides Himself

Last Friday we had an overnight vigil prayer in the Church. In a congregation of more than 10,000 people, only around 300 were in attendance. Some of the attendants were also from other Churches. And it seems the same people are coming to the vigil throughout the year except on December. Even then the majority will leave at midnight after celebrating the New Year Considering the vigil is a monthly event and the majority don't work on weekends, it's a matter to worry for the body of Christ. It has been said that in South Korea Churches are fully packed in vigil prayer nights. There it's every Friday night and the majority work on Saturday. No wonder the Holy Spirit is doing wonders in that part of the world. South Korea is now one of the largest missionary sending nation to the whole world.

However today's inspiration is not about the necessity and power of prayer. Rather it's about an incident which I had observed in last Friday's vigil prayer. And that scene has left a big impression in my life. Here is what happened: From where I sat about 15 meters at my right I saw a man praising the LORD with great zeal. And that reminded me of myself not long ago praising my LORD with similar devotion. Those days I used to suddenly stand with my two feet, raised my two hands high, made lot of praise sounds and gave a shock to the person who was quietly sat beside me. It was a kind of worship which made a non-serious attendant uncomfortable. I miss those days. Just like the hands of Moses I want someone to uphold my two hands so that they may not fall while praising my LORD. I need the wine of the vine to pass through my inner most so that it will refresh the intensity my praise.

Let's not think that it's only because of sin or troubles of this world that our passion to praise might diminish. In fact mostly we loose it at the midst of comfort and peace. However the most important thing is to remain firm in the faith. The God who seems so far away is very near at the same time. No wonder in the recently published book, "Come Be My Light" Mother Teresa confessed that had she lived much of the last part of her life in a seemingly state of an agnostic or atheist. And at one time she was the same person who heard the Lord's voice asking her to work with the poorest of the poor, and experienced a profound sense of God’s presence. 

God is so near but seems very far. He is there revealing and hiding himself according to his purpose. That's the beauty of our God. He can't be twisted by anything. He do his eternal will without expecting praise from anyone but demanding worship from all at the same time. He reveals himself to show us our nothingness but also hide himself so that we may have our moment of worth. Even when he is not there he is there. He allows us to lead our own life responsibly without being a nuisance by showing himself now and then in our bedrooms, but he also want us to depend on him in every detail of our lives. 

One of the greatest thinkers of all time by the name Thomas Aquinas after he had encountered the presence of the LORD said the following, "The end of my labors has come. All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me. I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings like straw." And the prophet Isaiah said it even better, "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."

God hide himself so that we may live. Therefore let's praise him with great excitement at all times.

Love and blessings

Brehane-meskel Araya