As a young person, I belonged to a small church of a dozen or so people, most of whom viewed God as a judge, eager to dispense justice, and reluctant to show grace. J.M. Henson wrote a hymn that we sang on a fairly regular basis. It was entitled, “Watching You.” Some of the lyrics are as follows:
All along on the road to the soul’s true abode, There’s an Eye watching you; Every step that you take this great eye is awake, There’s an Eye watching you. Watching you, watching you, Ev’ry day mind the course you pursue; Watching you, watching you, There’s an all-seeing Eye watching you.
Honestly, I never liked this hymn, but it captures the picture I had of God at that time. Instead of a loving Father, I pictured God as a big eye in the sky, looking down with a scowl, but never a smile.
How do you view God? As a great eye in the sky, watching your every move, eager to accuse you, or a loving father with eyes that dance with kindness and delight? If we are to heal our faulty pictures of God, we need look no further than to Jesus himself. He is our picture of God (Jn. 14:9). In him we see the Father’s true face.
Father, reveal yourself to me afresh each day. Help me see you as you are, not as I falsely imagine you to be.
As I prepare to head to the gym for the first workout of the year, I’m reflecting on Psalm 63:1.
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”
In the quiet, stillness of this new morning with the year’s first snow on the ground, I’m aware of a constant in my life. It is not loneliness. It is a persistent ache that refuses to go away, a longing for the kind of love that isn’t earned and can’t be taken away.
As I prepare to leave, the love that I long for calls to me. It beckons me to remember that He longs for me as well.
It is a wonderful moment when you discover, and yes, experience, the truth that God longs for you as much as you long for Him.
God, in these moments, help me remember that this kind of awareness is constantly available to me. Amen
As I prepare for worship this morning, I’m reflecting on the following Rabbinic quote about Passover.
“We taste (in the seder meal) the trauma of slavery in all its bitterness as well as the sweetness of liberation … and we realize how fortunate we are, and also how enslaved we are – whether by habits and patterns, relationships that no longer suit us, or haunting memories of the past.”
How true it is, that life is often bittersweet. An odd, and at times awful mingling of burdens and blessings. We live in the tension of finding ourselves enslaved, craving a freedom we don’t have, and then crying out, being heard, and graciously delivered into new freedom.
God is a deliverer, not just from Egyptian Pharaohs, but everything and anything in your life that robs you of freedom and crushes your spirit.
Father, deliver us from anything that has more of our hearts than you do. You are our deliverance!