As I continue to contemplate what God is doing in this season of my life, I recognize another “theme,” for lack of a better word. I am reminded of a book I read years ago by Graham Cooke called, Hiddenness and Manifestation. The gist of the book is how God reveals Himself differently in different seasons of life in order to broaden and deepen our revelation of who He is and what He is like. It also speaks of how, at times, He is easily seen and felt in our emotions, and other times it seems, He is a million miles away. We can’t see or feel His presence and it may be more difficult to hear His voice.
I went through an incredible eight year season of manifestation that began in 2004 and began subsiding in 2012. It was as if God was right beside me continually – I could feel His presence, hear His voice, sense His heart, feel His pleasure towards me. It was the most incredible season of my journey thus far! I was full of joy, nothing angered or upset me, I didn’t worry about anything…I had never before experienced this level of intimacy with my Lord. Even the difficulties I went through didn’t detract from the peace and confidence I felt.
About eight years later, the trials became more intense and seemed to multiply in different directions – health, ministry, relationships, finances; it seemed I was being bombarded from every direction. Gradually, over time, the nearness of His presence began to wane. It was more difficult to hear His voice and sense His heart. In short, He was transitioning me to see a new revelation of Himself. Job went through a similar situation. After the loss of his wealth, children, and health, he realized he didn’t know God as well as he thought he did. He said, “My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You.”
Mary Magdalene also received a new view of Jesus after His resurrection at the tomb. She first thought He was the gardener because He looked differently than He had before. When He says her name, her response is, “Rabboni,” (which means Teacher). Up until that time, that was the revelation she had of Him – a Teacher – yet here she saw Him in His glorified state as the One who conquered death and the grave.
The disciples on the road to Emmaus also saw a new side of Jesus. As He walked alongside them on their journey, “He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.” Yet they didn’t recognize Him as the Living Word until He broke bread with them and their eyes were opened.
There are many other examples, of course. What about you? Has Jesus revealed Himself to you in ways you didn’t recognize at first? Has He hidden Himself from your emotions? He does this to prepare you to see Him in a new way. Ask Him today, “Lord, open my eyes to see all You would have me to see, that I may know You and love You more.”