The game of peek-a-boo has a point.It helps babies learn that people are still present even if they can’t be seen. It’s called learning object permanence. Out of sight for a moment doesn’t mean gone forever.
People of all ages need to learn that truth when it comes to spiritual matters. The Spirit of God can’t be seen, but He is just as real and present as the dad who puts a book in front of his face. We rejoice in what we could call “Spirit permanence.”
Before Jesus went to the cross He told His disciples He would send His Holy Spirit – “the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). Even though the Spirit can’t be seen, He can be known. He doesn’t have to be visible to be present and active and doing great work in our lives.
What we do see far too often in this world is warfare and shootings, heartbreak and hurt. At times we might not feel like we see the Spirit’s work going on. We get tempted to wonder if the Spirit played a game of peek-a-boo but never came back.
Jesus promised the Spirit He gives is “another Counselor to be with you forever” (John 14:16). Even when what we see with our physical eyes is evil and tragic, the Spirit is still here. His work might be hard to see at times but we trust God’s promises.
After His resurrection Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). We don’t see the wind, but we see evidence of its work. We don’t see God’s Spirit, but the Lord can give us eyes of faith that see evidence of the Spirit’s gracious work all around us.
We get to enjoy a beautiful view of Mt. Baker from the deck of the parsonage in Ferndale, Washington – many days. Some days it is cloudy and the mountain can’t be seen. On those days we know the mountain is still there. On those days when the work of evil clouds our vision, we can trust the Creator of the mountain is still here. The Spirit of the living and loving God is still with us and still at work.