In Exodus 33 when an overwrought Moses asked God to show him His glory, Moses didn't understand that he wouldn't have survived the kind of revelation he'd requested. Instead of giving His servant what he asked, the Lord said to him,
There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. (V.22)
The next part is so wild:
Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.
Metaphorically speaking, the same thing can happen to us. When a shadow overtakes our lives and the light dims nearly beyond recognition, we may not see a single evidence of His arrival in our crisis. Sometimes we're in such blackness, we may go weeks or months that we don't sense God right by our side or feel the presence of His abiding Spirit within us. Those are the seasons when we make the choice whether we'll go by what we see and feel, or walk by what we know to be true. These are the places we learn what it really means to walk by faith and not by sight. To sow the seed of Scripture in our tears. It's often not until the crisis begins to dissipate that we look back upon the outstretched horizon and see God's hand prints all over it. No, we do not see His face, because, as Scripture says, our mortal bodies are not equipped to bear the sight. But, in a beautiful sense, we do indeed see His "back.' As the season draws to a close, we see that He took every single step we did.
We are quick to assume that all darkness is demonic but sometimes maybe the shadow over us is the hand of God covering us while His glory passes by.
I wonder if any of you can glance back over 2009 and see the "back" of God. Maybe you didn't see His face. Maybe you weren't even positive at times He was there. But now, as you look over your shoulder at the months behind you, the fog clears and you get a glimpse of His back, leading the way to your exodus. (reprinted from Beth Moore)