Thursday, October 27, 2011

The God Who Sees

I made a decision for Christ when I was twelve years old. When I look back, I can see the moment clearly. It was mid-July and my grandma had sent me to church camp. Hand in hand, I walked with a friend down to the altar, and took Jesus as my Savior. I cannot tell you the date, nor can I recall my friend's name, but I can close my eyes and see the warm glow of the chapel on that beautiful summer night long ago.

It was the most important decision that I ever made. With that one choice, the course of my life was forever changed. In a moment, I went from certain death and eternal separation from God, to eternal life in His wonderful presence. In that place, I could so clearly see the Lord all around me. God's love so penetrated the darkness in my life, it was impossible to miss His presence.

Still, the world is an alluring place, and life this side of Heaven is sometimes painful and confusing. Over the years, the world pressed on my young heart. For a time, I forgot to whom I belong. In those years of walking in the desert of life, I sometimes felt insignificant, even invisible. And in my need to be noticed, I sometimes made choices that surely grieved God's heart. The more I wandered, the harder it was to see His presence in my life.

Fortunately, God's love and acceptance of me is not based on my behavior, but on His mercy and grace offered to me through Christ. He is El Roi, "the God who sees". Every bad decision. Every painful choice. Every hurtful mistake. Every sin I committed. Every sin committed against me. God has seen it all. And through it all, even as others reject me, He chooses to love me. To guide me. To walk beside me. For "The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)

Those around me have not always known me. They could see me. But they didn't know my heart. Instead, they looked at my choices and made judgements about my position before God. Sadly, we Christians often make that mistake. Sometimes, the condition of the world makes us blind to what is real and true. We see the outward appearance of a person, we see their choices, and we think we know what makes them tick.

But that's not how God operates. Continually, I am amazed by the fact that no matter what path I choose, God goes with me. Without a doubt, there are paths I can take which He refuses to bless. Like a loving father, God quickly convicts me when I stumble. More often than I care to admit, I have felt the hand of His discipline. But, His love for me is not based on my behavior, nor is His presence. Instead He sees me as His precious daughter and my place with Him is firmly rooted in my decision for Christ. Like any child, I am prone to wander. Still, He promises to never leave me nor forsake me. For "I am the apple of His eye". (Psalm 17:8)

I have taken God's path, and I have also taken my own. In my experience, the Lord's way is superior, hands down. His mercies and love never fail me. That doesn't mean that I always get my way. Things don't always turn out the way I think they should. And many times, I simply don't understand what God is doing in my life. Sometimes, I am simply standing too close to the world to have His perspective on my circumstances.

Still, in all things, I choose God. For, "I have now seen the One who sees me." (Genesis 16:13) It's a truth that endures for us all. No matter how today appears, the LORD sees you. You are not invisible. There is no reason to hide. God sees your heart, and He looks on you with love.

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