Colchester Zoo has some Sun Bears and they are fantastic animals to watch. They used to be in an enclosure near the entrance and we always used to go and see them first when we went to the Zoo. In March this year they moved to a larger enclosure and we haven’t seen them since.
I have been several times since March and have looked at their amazing new enclosure and I have never seen them. Others have seen them as evidenced in this picture from the Zoo’s facebook page but I have not. My daughter and I stood watching for quite a while this week but there was no sign of them or any movement.
Do the bears still exist? Are they still there? Just because I can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t real!
Does God exist? Is he still there? Just because I can’t see him doesn’t mean he isn’t real!
I have had such powerful experiences of God’s presence and at other times it feels like he is far away. Because I am not tuned into his presence doesn’t mean he is not there, his promise is that he will never leave or forsake us.
When God feels far away, we need to remind ourselves that he is actually always present. We need to have the faith to reach out to God and to expect him to act and to change things.
I’m frustrated that I haven’t seen the bears for a few months but I am genuinely glad that they are in a better and more appropriate habitat. Their old enclosure was small and there were not many places to hide, but their new enclosure is very large and gives them much more freedom. The bears are so busy living their lives that they don’t drop everything and appear every time I turn up to see them. I am frustrated by this, but I need to remind myself that the bears don’t exist to serve my needs.
God doesn’t exist to serve my needs either although he will work his purposes out which involves caring for the whole world and not just me. Sometimes I am frustrated that God doesn’t appear in the way that I hope that he would and in those moments I need to realize that he is God and I need to trust him.