By Melissa McLaughlin
They have a power all their own. The patches of stubborn, unmelted snow still cling to the earth, gripping the edges of our souls with the frigid bite of winter. But there they are… unthwarted, unstoppable, undaunted.
Up from the earth. Up from the shadows. Up from the seeming stillness of dead dormancy.
The daffodils are coming! One of the first signs of spring and new life in our area.
Though the earth is hardened and packed down from layer upon layer of snow and ice, incredibly they push through the surface of the ground.
You might think these little plants have supernatural strength. Well, I guess they do. Strength of God in the life of the flower.
Have you ever lifted a bag of topsoil? Heavy! Yet, these annual bulbs push through the weight of pressed soil, on God’s timetable with God’s quiet but unrelenting purpose.
Their purpose? The daffodils give glory to the Creator who formed them. (Isaiah 6:3)
What are the plants doing during the dark winter months? There is nothing visible to the eye. Were it not for our past experience, we would assume they are dead and gone.
Still, God in His Providence has designed the world to operate in wondrous, rhythmic seasons.
Looking for God
For many, this current season of life has felt like a long, cold winter. Deep darkness of illness, strife and difficulty are the headlines of our lives.
At times, we may question, “Where is God? What is God doing? How is God using this moment in time to accomplish His purposes?”
When we pause and remember God’s faithfulness through the ages, we can rest in the assurance that even though we cannot see with earthly eyes, God’s unseen hand is holding us fast.
The Unseen Hand of God in Scripture
In Genesis 7, Noah and his family were spared the judgment of God’s cleansing flood upon the earth. They waited on board the ark for 40 days. The unseen hand of God moved Noah to build the ark, compelled Noah to prepare the necessary provisions and gather animals and family members in order that they may be saved. The unseen hand of God brought them through.
Later in the book of Genesis, as Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, the unseen hand of God protected Joseph and afforded him unimaginable opportunities. The unique circumstances surrounding Joseph’s life paved the way for God’s people to survive and thrive during an extended drought.
Joseph’s words reflected his understanding of God’s unseen hand, here in Genesis 50:20 – “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
In the book of Exodus, the unseen hand of God moved through Moses, as he requested release for God’s people, the Israelites, from the oppressive rule of the Egyptian Pharaoh. The Lord sent plague after plague as a warning, followed by the miraculous parting of the Red Sea, so the Israelites could walk to freedom on dry ground.
Though God moved through His appointed leader, Moses, the unseen hand of God orchestrated each detail.
In the book of Esther, the king’s official, Haman, had devised a plan to annihilate all of the Jewish people. Through God’s unseen hand and with stunning irony, every evil purpose Haman intended for the Jews was carried out against Haman instead. (Esther 9:25)
The Unseen Hand of God in Christ
Fast forward through the Bible to Jesus Christ. As we ponder the triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ, may we remember the long dark hours between His crucifixion-death-burial and… His resurrection.
The Messiah was dead. The Savior was buried. The Son of God breathed His last. So they thought.
Though the darkness hovered over them, the unseen hand of God was moving.
Jesus Christ, the Word of God, will have the final word. Then as today.
That word is mercy! He has triumphed over sin, hell and the grave and extended mercy to all who place their faith in Him. Because He lives, all who believe in Him will live too! (Matthew 27-28)
Hold to the Unseen Hand of God
Do you find yourself in a season of darkness, dormancy or doubt? Wondering where God is?
Hold to God’s hand!
God is living. God is active. God is powerful. God is moving.
His plans are unstoppable.
His name will be glorified.
His kingdom will be advanced.
His purposes will be accomplished.
Just as surely as Jesus rose up from that grave, so God is alive and His unseen hand is moving in your life.
Need a reminder?
Take a walk down memory lane.
Remember the scriptures.
And remember the daffodils.
Psalm 77:10-20 (ESV)
Then I said, “I will appeal to this,
to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.
You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
indeed, the deep trembled.
The clouds poured out water;
the skies gave forth thunder;
your arrows flashed on every side.
The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings lighted up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.
Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27 (NIV)