I have a four year old son who keeps me on my toes. Many times, while we are playing, Austin will wonder off into another room. When he does this, the first thought that comes to my mind is this, "What is he up to?" From there, I will follow him into another room to see what he is actually doing. Sometimes I find him hiding from me. Other times I find my son playing with a new toy. I have come to the conclusion that Austin is a creative boy that enjoys being active. I believe God is very similar. God is not sitting around in heaven bored. Instead, he is a creative God who is always up to something. He enjoys being involved in our lives. Proverbs 16:9 (ESV) says, "The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." God always has a plan and enjoys establishing our steps.
Life is full of ups and downs. It's the valleys of life that often bring about depression, anxiety, and disappointment. Even as Christians, we experience pain from our own sins and the sins of others. We live in a fallen world, so pain is more common than we often would like. It's in these dark moments we often think God has abandoned us. Maybe we don't feel his presence. Perhaps our prayers are not being answered. Dark moments and struggling emotions cause us to think that God is not active. The valleys enable us to judge God based on what he is NOT doing. If he doesn't intervene in a specific situation the way we think he should, we might come to the conclusion that God is absent. Is it possible that God is at work, but we are simply looking in the wrong places?
One spiritual question that has made a huge impact in my life is the following: What is God up to? We often focus on what God is NOT doing; if God is active, then that means he must be at work somewhere in our lives. Instead of focusing on what God is NOT doing, we should change our view. What is God currently doing in our lives? How is he at work in the people, places, and circumstances of our lives? If we seek his guidance, we will find him at work. His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). In other words, He is God and He will act how He sees fit. The next time you think God is absent or not at work, change your perspective. Ask God what he is up to. Look around and see what He may be doing behind the scenes. Once you discover what He is doing, then follow Him. He is a creative God who is always up to something.