Hiddenness is complicated. If we create it for ourselves via secrecy, it provides us a false sense of safety—existing in a world where people only know what we want them to. But if it is created apart from our will through loss, loneliness, sickness, or pain, it is an uncomfortable and hopeless experience. On the one hand we may fight with all our might to obscure who we really are, saying, “Please, don’t look too close at me.” On the other hand, we may struggle in unwanted obscurity, saying, “Please, will someone, anyone, just notice me?”
You’ve likely had both experiences. Right now you may be seeking with great fervor to protect secrets that you fear would do you in if known. This will never bring you true safety. And even though this purposeful hiding is a big problem, today I am most concerned with the person who is almost certain that no one, not even God, cares about what’s happening in his or her life. You are asking, “Does anyone see; does anyone care?”
Your Hopeless Circumstance
If the Lord has dealt you a circumstance that has laid you very low, you are in good company with the experience of God’s people being addressed in Isaiah 40. They are in exile because of their rebellion and sin. But now that they’ve been there a good while, they are losing hope. Yet God has a message for them in verses 27-28:
Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord
and my right is disregarded by my God?”
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
The people of Israel are like my little sister as a young girl when she was forced to take piano lessons against her will. Exasperated by the injustice of her situation, she finally cried to my Dad, “How can you say that you love me when you keep making me take these piano lessons!”
Israel is saying, “Because our circumstance is so bad, we think you don’t care about us anymore.” They believed that it wasn’t possible to experience such loss if the God who loved them knew what was happening to them.
His Greatness Does Not Preclude Your Care
What Israel had failed to remember was that this God of theirs was the creator and sustainer of everyone and everything. And he has not changed. He is the one who numbers and names the stars so that none are missing (v 26), who never gets tired and understands everything (v 28), and who gives strength to the weary and the weak (v 29-30). The greatness of his glory, power, and understanding made sure that Israel had not been forgotten. If he can keep track of every star, he will surely watch over you.
The hope of Israel in Babylon was that God was coming in his might to temporarily deliver them from their earthly enemy (v 10). But from where they were, they couldn’t see it. Your hope is that God in Christ has come down to earth to deliver you eternally from sin and death. Israel did not deserve deliverance any more than you do, but God came down anyway. He saved them from a wicked nation and human oppression. In Christ, he has saved you from the grip and condemnation of your sin.
If the Lord who counts every star came down from heaven to die in your place when you were his enemy, is it likely that he has forgotten you? If you are in Christ, you cannot and will never be hidden from him.