Friday, May 15, 2009

Seeing is Believing -OR- Believing is Seeing?

See – I’ve seen that word a lot lately. I’m not kidding you. Everywhere I look God is reminding me that I can see Him and His hand if I’m looking. Here are a just a few examples of those reminders from last week (all emphasis mine):

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Psalm 27:13 (Bathroom mirror card – previous bible study)

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for
and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1 (iGoogle DBV) from last Monday

We live by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (iGoogle DBV) from last Tuesday

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him

to the one who seeks him.

Lamentations 3:25 (NIV) (Bible Verse of the Day email) from last Tuesday

To save space I will stop with four – but you get the picture. The first entry is on a card taped to my bathroom mirror. It’s been there for about a year now, leftover from a previous bible study. When I think I’m ready to take it down something always stops me. I don’t think God will let me take it down until I believe it and can say it with passion. (It may be up there for a little while longer.)

I like the word “confident”. Being certain, full of conviction, assurance. Faith is being sure and certain of what we do not see. The Psalmist had “faith” (if you will) that he would see the goodness of the LORD in regular daily activity. So if I had any doubt that God wants me to write a blog centered on seeing His work, I’m rounding the corner and heading straight into certainty. We don’t have to wait for heaven to see God. He’s all around us…constantly, ever and forever present.

It’s like floating in the middle of the ocean and claiming you can’t see the water. You have to work hard not to see it! If you don’t see the water, you’ve intentionally missed it. Maybe you have your eyes closed or you’re looking at the sky instead. By the same token, if we don’t see God it’s because we’re not looking – either on purpose or maybe because it never occurred to us. Something else could possibly have our attention or we’re afraid of how our lives could be changed by what we might see.

We can see God everywhere. We can see God in the beautiful and precious things of this life. But we can also see God when things get a little rocky (or a lot rocky!). We can see Him when we say a final good-bye to a loved one, whether it’s a parent we’re not ready to let go of or an innocent child taken, by our minds, much too soon. We can see God when the doctor says that the cancer is back followed by, “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing more we can do.” We can see God when the only news we hear seems to be bad news. When the boss announces the doors at work are to be closed – forever. God is still working when we’re scared, angry, confused, worried, frustrated, discouraged and completely devastated. When our lives seem to shatter like a crystal glass carelessly dropped on a concrete floor, God remains steadfast.

It’s hard to remember, when we find ourselves in the middle of our own crisis, that every single second of every single day there is always someone somewhere who is absolutely devastated. When we’re having a good day, there is a person out there somewhere who is having their worst day ever (maybe for the second or third time). That person may not be too far “out there” either. They may be standing in line behind you waiting to order their lunch. They may be sitting in the cubicle beside you. Maybe they’re in the car next to you at the red light or even living in the house across the street.

Here’s the thing, bad things are going to happen. It’s part of living in a sinful world. But there is HOPE! And we cannot fail to tell people about it – but first, we have to believe it ourselves. The way I look at it, the fact that we are able to have those “good days”…that we can laugh and play and enjoy each other through relationships…that we can be happy at all, to me that’s proof that God is completely present and active. If He weren’t, then any sort of good wouldn’t be possible at all. God’s gift to us is that HOPE. Without it the devastation would never end and we would all lose our minds (Some of us would go faster that others, for sure!). But God intends for us to live full, productive lives. When we live like we believe God is working around us and through us, then others will SEE GOD, too! The world says, “Seeing is Believing” but God says, “Believing is Seeing.” Give believing a try and then share what you see

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