The other day my dear friend Hollie and I had a conversation that has stuck with me and has had me thinking and studying further. Here’s a small excerpt of our conversation, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.- Psalm 32:8
‘Eyes up here.’ – God
I love this verse. I feel like every time I read it, God is like- Hollie, what are you looking around for? Why are you looking so intently at yourself, trying to fix it? Why are you looking for direction in this environment, in this situation? Why are you looking to your fellow humans- they don’t know!…how can He instruct me with His eye, unless I’m looking RIGHT AT HIM…do you know how IMPOSSIBLY DIFFICULT it is to look Love Himself in the face?”
That last line of looking Love Himself in the face is what I have been chewing on this last week. What does it mean to look Love (Jesus) in the face?
A few days after that conversation we had our sibling devotion time in Ephesians 3:14-21. I was particularly struck with verse 17-19…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Do you see what I saw? God’s love is incomprehensible to the human mind and we need His strength to know it!! Ok, so how does this tie in with looking Love in the face? It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul. If we are looking at Jesus and seeing Him in truth, we will be able to see His love for us. Knowing God is knowing love because God is love. 1 John 4:16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
God calls us to have our eyes up and focused on Him, on Love (Heb 12:1-2, Psalm 121:1, etc), but we can’t do it. We can’t keep our eyes looking up on our own. Hollie gave me a great statistic that supports this fact, “The average time a human is comfortable holding eye contact in Western culture is 3.2 seconds.” Yup, that pretty much sums up my human ability to keep my eyes on Jesus…3.2 seconds and then my sin condemns me, or the world distracts me, or my circumstances discourage me. It’s so so hard to keep our eyes up and focused on Love. In fact, it is impossible for us as humans to comprehend the love of Christ, to lift our heads and our eyes to Him. So, how can we do it? God…it is He who gives us the grace and the strength to know Him and His love! That is why Paul prays for the Ephesians to have strength to know the love of Christ. It is why the psalmist says “But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3.
So now the questions is how does asking God to lift our eyes to look at Him and know Love help us? Well for one thing, knowing the love of Christ fills us “with all the fullness of God” according to Ephesians 3:19. It causes us to trust God and know the way we should walk according to Psalm 143:8 Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You. It reminds us of our frailty and His power in Isaiah 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.
Have you ever had an experience of reasoning with a young child (yours or someone else’s) about why you want them to do something? You try to explain why it’s good for them and why you are asking them to do it, but they just keep arguing like they know what’s best. It’s frustrating, right? You just want to tell them, “If you understood just how much I love you and want your good, you would just trust me and do what I’m telling you to do!” Now, God has way more patience than we do, but He tells us the very same thing! Over and over these last few months God has been gently scolding me, “Heather, if you could just understand and believe how much I love you then obedience wouldn’t be hard, sacrifice wouldn’t be hard, trusting me to lead you wouldn’t be hard, loving others unconditionally wouldn’t be hard!” Sigh, but it is hard! I’m not grasping His love as quickly as I want and sometimes that leaves me discouraged. But again Jesus reminds me “Look up! Don’t look at what you can’t do or what you haven’t grasped, look at ME!” I must remember and cling to Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,” His power in me is teaching me to look at Him longer and to know His love deeper and fuller. As I continue to trust in His ability to work in me, I will grow and I will know Him and His love more and more! So my dear brothers and sisters, look up and behold the One who’s love for you is steadfast and never failing, and then let His love consume you!
Psalm 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
Also, please be in prayer for a sad baby that was delivered in our hospital in Soroti today. She has severe hydrocephalus, bilateral cleft lip and palate, and some other defects. She is stable currently. The plan is to let the mother recover for a few days and then send them to a hospital in Mbale where they do shunts and cleft lip and palate repairs. It’s hard to know what the prognosis will be. Please pray for the baby and the family. The mom has been trying for a baby for a long time, so this is hard and sad for them. 💔 Also pray for the nurses as they care for this baby for the next few days!