Skip to main content

Are you hiding from God?

Be generous with me and I'll live a full life; not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road.  Open my eyes so I can see what you show me of your miracle-wonders.  I'm a stranger in these parts; give me clear directions. 
(Psalm 119:17-19 The Message)

When we travel through unfamiliar areas, it is not uncommon to be a little uneasy on the roadways, uncertain about where we turn off, merge, etc.  In fact, we might even be a little unfamiliar with the "customs" of the area.  I first encountered "sweet tea" when I ordered my first glass of iced tea in the South.  I had no idea there were two kinds of tea!  In the South, sweet tea is the "norm".  In Arizona, tea with lemon is!  In the South, most things are fried.  In the Arizona desert, most things are baked, broiled, or served with salad!  

God knew that traveling daily with him would bring us into some "unfamiliar" territory.  His precepts are not always the easiest to grasp - his directions sometimes a little fuzzy for us to really "get" the first time around.  In fact, if we only casually listen to them, we can get ourselves into quite a pickle!  David's prayer was to be in a place where his eyes were continually focused on the one who gives the direction - God.  

Yet, in these verses, there is a little contradiction.  Did you catch it?  Look again.  David sets out the idea that HE will not take his eyes off God's path - he will stay focused on where God is leading him.  Then, in the very next breath, he asks God to open his eyes!  This is how we are, isn't it!  We proudly proclaim we are focusing all our attention on God - dedicating our lives to his service - then in the next breath we sigh, "Where'd ya go, God?"  

The straight truth is God knows our eyes don't always focus on him and him alone!  We get "inward" focused.  That is what happens when we close our eyes. We begin to look inward - our imaginations free to create whatever image they wish to conjure up.  Closed eyes are not focused on anything external to self.  They simply focus on us!

I think David might be giving us a little insight here.  We "commit" to walking with our eyes fully open - looking outward toward God and others - but in just a short time, we find ourselves looking inward again.  The tendency to do this is quite prevalent in our society - even in believers.  Why is this the case?  It is easier to keep our eyes shut, closely caring for our own needs and wants, shutting out what it is God sets clearly in our path.  The only thing is that we miss the "miracle-wonders" of God when we do!

As long as we stay "inward-focused", we miss God's revelations along the path we are walking.  We don't see how others play a part in our growth.  We miss the transformation of grace right in front of us.  David hit the nail squarely on the head when he showed us the two sides of the issue - we close our eyes to God's leading, preferring to stay focused on self.  No wonder we struggle with walking upright and God-directed lives!

Here's the cold, hard truth:  As long as we focus inward (eyes closed), we may miss the direction God sets in front of our eyelids!  Have you ever had your eyes shut and someone turns on a light in the room?  Even through the "cover" of your eyelids, the light begins to filter through.  This is how God's truth is - it filters through even when we are "closed off" to his direction!  Thank goodness!  God doesn't leave us long with our "inward focus" - he shines light that breaks through the barriers we set up!

We are all strangers in these parts!  None of us has figured out this walk with God completely!  No one possesses all the insight and revelation God provides.  Yet, we learn from each other - the miracle-wonders of God you experience are trail-markers that another can follow!  We only see them with opened eyes.  David struggles as much as we do - turning his gaze inward on more than one occasion.  In those times, God's light always broke through, opening him to new direction.  

If you have been "closing" your eyes to God's direction, know this:  His light WILL break through your "closed" eyes!  His light is more powerful than your ability to shut him out!  If you have struggled with remaining attentive to his direction, know this:  His trail-markers are still there when you open up to him again!  


Popular posts from this blog

Your full attention, please

My mother frequently uses the term "Listen to me!" as a way of getting my attention so that I actually stop, pay close attention, and hear out whatever her idea or issue is at the moment. It isn't always at the most convenient moment, nor is it always easy for her to get out whatever it is she wants to share. Yet, it is important enough for her to ask to for me to hear it, so I respond with, "I'm listening, mom", and she begins.  It isn't said in anger or in a moment of disappointment. Rather, these words are usually spoken in a "sing-song" manner, but with very specific intent - they are intended to get me to REALLY listen to what she was saying. Why? Because she knows she has something to say even if it is getting harder for her to say it! She has walked through much already, learned many lessons, and has the advantage of experience on her side, but the disadvantage of advancing age makes it harder and harder for her to actually form those t…

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…