Seeing God

Seeing God

 July 22, 2012

This morning as I was reading the Psalms, I was struck with how the Psalmists saw God in everything. God was clearly seen by them in creation, in the heavens, in the affairs of mankind.  Today, God is silent and distant to so many of us. How often do we pray and feel our words bounce off the ceiling and return to us. Many Christians cry to God to have Him make Himself known in their life.  But He seems so unapproachable and unconcerned.  Why do we not see God in our lives?

As I was pondering these issues, I looked out my window.  On a clear day, we can see the city of Los Angeles over 30 miles away.  The below photo was taken in December, 2007


 Today was not one of those days.  The below photo was taken today. 


  This does not mean the city of several million people suddenly disappeared.  What it does mean is that the pollution of this area has obscured the view.

 So it is with Christians.  The pollution of this life obscures our view of God and His continued activity in our life.  God is just as near, just as active as He has always been.  We, however, fail to see Him because we let so many things get in the way.

 Jesus told His followers the parable of the soils.  Some seed fell among thorns and the Bible says that the cares of this world, riches, and the desire for other things choked the message so that it did not bear fruit. In 21st century America we are blessed with unmatched riches, a counselor on every "corner" because the anxiety and cares of this world tax us dearly, and we have so many other "things" to consume our time that little time is left for Bible study and prayer, the principle means by which God speaks.  Consequently, we don't see Him, not because He is absent, but because this life gets in the way!

What is it in your life that is preventing you from seeing and experiencing God?  Have you let the cares of this world, the quest for riches, or other"things" get in the way of seeing God active in your life?

Today, let us commit ourselves to cleaning out the pollution so we can once again see God clearly.

God Is Good

God is Good

(Psalm 25:8; Matt. 19:17; Mark 10:18; Mark 18:19 )

 In March, 2012, I received word that the son of a friend from high school, was on his first patrol, on his first deployment to Afganistan, when an IED exploded causing severe injuries, including the loss of both legs.  His family began a Facebook page to post updates on his condition, and to request prayers.  The young man had just married his high school sweetheart in December, before being shipped overseas.

 The updates on the website provided information on both the encouraging, and the disappointing news.  In spite of the ups and downs, the young bride closed almost every update with the same three words:  God is good.

 Really?   Those words roll off our tongues with the ease of other trite religious phrases like “God Bless you”, or “Praise the Lord”.   To most, they are simply words to be used as a tagline at the end of some letter or recitation of some good thing happening in their life.   What about when things go wrong?  What about when BAD things happen?  What about when you feel trapped by the circumstances of life?  What about when tragedy happens?  Can we say at those times that God is good?

 Those three words are so pregnant with meaning, that most who have not experienced what that young couple has fail to fully appreciate their significance.  Not that God DOES good, or that God CAUSES good things to happen.  It does not mean that only happy circumstances will be experienced by believers.

 The truth of those three words is far deeper and far more significant than that.  The thought that God, in His essence and very being is absolutely, completely, perfectly GOOD!    Let the impact of that thought sink in.

 Why is it that Betsie Ten Boom, dying in the horrors of the German concentration camp for sheltering Jews, could exclaim to her sister Corrie:  “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still”?

 God’s “goodness” is not defined by the absence of bad in our lives.  Sometimes, it is in the darkness of tragic events that the beacon of God’s truth shines brightest.  This young bride and her husband have experienced what, to most people, is considered a tragedy.  Yet, in the midst of that tragedy, she has learned first hand what most of us merely read or hear about:  GOD IS GOOD.  How can that be, considering what she and her husband have experienced?  When I was in college, I learned this poem:

 I stood a child of God, before His royal throne

And begged Him for one priceless gift, for me to call my own.

I took the gift from out His hand and as I would depart

I cried “But Lord, this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.

This is a strange and hurtful gift which Thou hast given me.”

He said, “I love to give good gifts, I gave my BEST for thee.”

I took the gift, and though, at first, the cruel thorn hurt me sore,

As long years passed, I grew at last to love it more and more.

You see, God never gives a thorn without this added grace,

He takes the thorn, to pin aside the veil which hides His face.

 Sometimes, it takes extreme circumstances to learn the full and complete meaning of the three small words she uses to close her updates.  Though the words are small, we will spend eternity learning the fullness of their meaning: GOD IS GOOD!

For more information on this courageous couple, go to: Praying for Andrew