eyechartDo you want to see God?

I don’t know of anybody who would answer “no.” Of course we desire to see God and Him working in real life right now. What could be more encouraging to continue the hard work of discipleship?

I’m sure the religious elite of Jesus’ day would say the same thing. Yet “seeing God” for them would have to fit within a predetermined box…otherwise it couldn’t be God at all. Remember the Sign of Jonah from the last post?

They didn’t have eyes to see that God was right in front of them, working in a miraculous way to change the course of human history and to write another chapter in the story of redemption.

Their eyes were bad. Dull. Opaque. The light can’t get in. And if the eyes, the gateway to the body, are bad, then the inside is consumed by darkness…by falsehood, lack of direction, and misunderstandings, whether we realize it or not (Lk. 11:33-36).

But what about my “eyes?” I recognize Jesus as Truth, as the Son of God. I claim to be a Jesus-follower, a disciple, a pursuer of God. But can I see God’s works right in front of me, even though they may not be what I thought I wanted?? Do I recognize His movement? Do I realize it’s God when it’s God?

Many times, no. Many times only long after the fact. When I’m in the situation, I frequently don’t even ask the question, “Is this God?” even though I long to see Him and recognize Him.

I think it’s largely because God and His work don’t always fit into my box.

I’m not supposed to just be working part-time after finishing seminary and still wondering what God wants for my “career.” I must have messed up somewhere, or am too selfish, or have not shown enough initiative, or…

My employees at work are supposed to be easier to manage, more bought in to what we are doing, and united. What happened to my “magic touch?” I must not be in the right place, or have become too soft, or have passed my prime, or…

My life and community is supposed to be more alive. I shouldn’t still have to battle complacency, a dry prayer life, distractions, and materialism. I must not be trying hard enough, or really understand, or am able to turn any of this around, or…

Yet I’m learning great lessons in patience, discernment, and where I find my value by still “just” working part-time. Plus, my schedule allows me to be more involved in other important ventures, even though I do not get paid for them.

Yet I’m being forced to grow through the challenges of a difficult employee group and am being shaped to take on even greater challenges down the road. I’m learning a lot about myself and my management and leadership styles, both strengths and weaknesses.

Yet I’m finding out first hand that I am indeed unable to do anything about my complacency outside of the grace of God. Really living is HARD work, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and I am the neediest of all!

Really, I probably don’t have know a fraction of how God is using different circumstances in my life for good…how He is working right now. I need to pray for that discernment.

I need to pray for good eyes.