Is God working in your life right now? Are you able to sense his presence and see all the ways he’s active in blessing you? Can you see him guiding your efforts for his good purposes?
I wouldn’t blame you at all if you said no. It’s one of the surprising things about God. For all of his power, his glory, and the ways he promises to work in our lives, he mostly remains hidden. He doesn’t let us see him directly, and his work is often concealed behind other people and other things.
The reformer Martin Luther liked to call them the masks of God in our lives. These are the people and things God puts on (like a mask) and hides behind as he works in this world. God actually uses the hands of people to carry out his work on earth. He works through us.
Consider some of the masks God wears as he blesses people on earth.
- The mask of work. Who gives you your daily bread? Who gives you your salary, your house, your spending money, and your car? Well, all things come from God. But I’ll bet God didn’t show up and personally cook your dinner last night or put the shingles on your roof. He works behind your employer, your grocery store manager, your waitress, your automobile manufacturer, and the very job that you do. Through your work and the work of others, God is active in answering the prayer he taught us to pray: “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).
- The mask of mercy. God chooses to extend mercy to us through the kindness of others. Behind the helping hand of a neighbor, the smile of a coworker, and a classmate’s help on homework is the God who promises to be with us daily and whose mercies are new every morning. And sometimes God will put us on as a mask of mercy to show kindness to others. After all, Jesus says, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).
- The mask of family. Our God promises, “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). Often, his strength and help come to us through our family members. Mom’s relentless encouragement. Dad’s experience and wisdom. Your sibling’s phone calls. Your child’s love. Behind them all is the God who loves you as your Father, Brother, and Comforter.
- The mask of evangelism. It always amazes me that God sends people out to announce the good news of Jesus. Wouldn’t angels do a better job? Jesus is a much better preacher than I am. But God chooses to put us on like a mask as he proclaims forgiveness and peace through us. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20). We represent God himself as we share the gospel. God’s work through us has an impact that lasts for eternity. What a privilege evangelism is!
Maybe you don’t sense God’s presence. Maybe it’s difficult to see how he’s blessing you and guiding your efforts for his good purposes. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t there. He’s all over the place! He just prefers to stay hidden most of the time. He hides behind masks as he does his wonderful work. He’s working through the people all around you. He’s working through you.
Be on the lookout for God’s working in your life. If you don’t watch for it, you might just miss it.