Posted by: glorifyhim1 | February 27, 2012

Seeing God

I never grow tired of the way God speaks to me through simple comments preschoolers make. While I know God is the Teacher who drives home these important spiritual truths, I am so thankful for the honest, unrehearsed conversation with boys and girls that God uses not only to encourage, comfort, and help me, but also to reveal more of Himself to me, especially His great love.

 

Yesterday, as Sunday School came to a close, we had a few extra minutes while we waited for parents to arrive. The kids began looking at themselves in a small mirror attached to the wall at their eye level. Taking the opportunity, I grabbed a marker and began drawing the face of one little guy by tracing over his reflection in the mirror. Immediately I had everyone’s attention as each one clamored for their turn to draw and be drawn.

 

One little girl wanted to use her turn to draw my face. So as I got on my knees and stared into the mirror, she painstakingly began her work of art. However, instead of tracing around my reflection, she drew a circle about half the size of my face and then proceeded to draw in my eyes, nose, and mouth. Another little fellow stood beside her, totally mesmerized as he watched her draw my face and add each detail. Then, almostly breathlessly, he uttered in awe to her: “Boy, she has a little face!”

 

Throughout the remainder of the day I found myself smiling as I recalled the child’s comment. However, the entire incident reminded me of a verse that Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Corinthians 13:11-12).

 

As this child gazed in the mirror and concentrated on the other child’s rendition, he failed to “see” my real face. As he became captivated by her drawing, what she created became more real to him than my actual face that he could see. And then it occurred to me that sometimes I do the same thing with God.

 

When I look at myself in the mirror, the real me is there – the one that God created in His image and who fashioned my heart within me. Too often, however, what I see is the me I’ve come to be, the me I’m comfortable with. I tend to either limit myself, chastise myself, or become proud of myself based on what I see and know about the person in the mirror. But that person I see is so much more when she sheds all she knows about herself and seeks instead to look into the true mirror (God’s Word) and to know God. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

To me, one of the most tender stories in the Bible is that of Hagar. Genesis 16 recounts how Sarai, still childless, tried to help God along in His promise to give a son to her and Abram. She gave her maid, Hagar, to Abram so that he could obtain children by her. However, when Sarai discovered that Hagar had conceived, Sarai became humiliated and dealt with her harshly. As a result Hagar fled from Sarai into the wilderness. And there, God saw her. “Now the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. And He said, ‘Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?’ She said, ‘I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.’ The Angel of the Lord said to her: ‘Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.’ Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, ‘I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude’” (Genesis 16: 7-10).

 

Although the covenant promise of God to Abraham would be through Isaac, the son of Sarah and Abraham, God revealed Himself to Hagar and encouraged her to return to Sarai and Abram. In the following verses, God tells Hagar that she will bear her son and that she should name him, Ishmael, which means “God hears.” Hagar surely saw herself as an outcast, unloved and uncared for, but God saw her and met her at the point of her deepest need.

 

Scripture tells us that Hagar responded in faith: “Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, ‘Have I also here seen Him who sees me?’” (Genesis 16:13). Hagar, an Egyptian, apparently could not believe that the God of Abram had shown her such grace and blessing. When we take our eyes off of ourselves, our problems and our limitations, and focus them on God, not only will we see Him more clearly, but God will also help us see ourselves as He sees us – loved and precious in His sight.

 

I am so thankful for my God-Who-Sees and for the privilege I have of looking into the mirror of Scripture to see Him who sees me. While today my vision may be dim and I may only know and understand in part, I know that one day I will see my Blessed Lord face to face. Then I shall know as I am known! I’m sure that then I’ll react with even greater awe than that sweet little preschooler as I see beyond a mere reflection to the awesome glory and majesty of my Savior and Lord as I breathe: “I see God!”

 

 

 

 

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