Several years ago there was a popular game that surfaced called “Where’s Waldo.” The game was a challenging search and find puzzle. In the drawings were hundreds of cartoon characters in a wide variety of colored clothing. Waldo always wore a red and white striped shirt, if I am remembering correctly. And in that sea of color and cartoon figures, finding Waldo was the goal. These puzzles were popping up everywhere. And I must say, it was always a challenge to find out where Waldo was hiding. The name of the game actually became a catch phrase in that day. Looking for something? Invariably someone would say, “Where’s Waldo.”
I saw a quote not long ago that reminded me of those fun puzzles. And I started thinking of how we sometimes apply the “Where’s Waldo” theology to our search for God. We may not realize we do it, but at times we have all questioned “where’s God” in the middle of a crisis or tragedy. Sometimes I think our mindset is directly opposite of where it needs to be in those times. Oswald Chambers said, “We look for visions from heaven, for earthquakes and thunders of God’s power….and we never dream that all the time God is in the commonplace things and people around us. If we will do the duty that lies nearest, we shall see Him.”
That mindset I spoke of is one that asks “where’s God” in this time of crisis, instead of seeing God in the middle of it. And what I mean by that is sometimes, by asking that question, we are in essence asking what God can do for us and not what can we do for Him.
The truth is that God is present at all times, even in your most difficult times. He may not have caused the difficulty, but He is nonetheless there, right in the middle of it. And He is waiting to see how you are going to respond. The proper response for us all is not to turn bitter and question “where’s God,” but to see Him in the people and the events that are right at our fingertips. He is at work. And He wants you to join Him there. Even if that place is the very center of your hardship. I think we’ll all find that when we actively serve Him in the midst of the difficult times, we come away with the answer to our question of “where’s God.”
And that answer will be that He was with us all the time. Most of the time we can’t see past the tragedy of circumstances to find that He is there, right in the midst of them, inviting us to join Him in making a difference.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
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