Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Face of Hope

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3
photo by Valerie Lynn Jones

So many moments of devastation this past week. My heart has throbbed several times for both strangers and loved ones. And as the last waves of sympathy and empathy surged through me, all I could breathe was:

"God, draw us closer to You".

Out there - where there is pain, confusion, heartache - there are also many blessings from God to behold. A helping hand. A kind word. Thoughtful prayers. An angel, with us unaware. Yet we know even all these things, though good, are fleeting.

But not Him. There is nothing like beholding the presence of God, coming face to face with the Eternal. He calls each of us to turn to Him.

When we do, the healing begins. The will shatters and pride falls and we realize we are small and broken. But for the Redeemed Child of God there is no guilt or shame or fear...just a knowing that recognizes that He IS.

As the heart bows, He lifts the chin to meet us face to face. Then there it is - the overwhelming nature of God saturating the soul. Goodness. Love. Peace.

And we think, it doesn't make sense. It shouldn't make sense. The world is falling to pieces - our world crumbling before us. How can there peace?

But it's the peace of God that passes all understanding. He said it right there in His Word: it doesn't make sense.

It doesn't have to. Because He is the God who sees - all things that all of us are going through - He sees. And He cares.

He cares FOR us.

Thousands of years ago He carried the weight of the world's sin and shame as He died on that tree for us. He took our sin and He asks for our cares to be cast on Him, because He cares FOR us.

Instead of we don't have to carry our cares.

It doesn't make sense to give up our cares, our imperfect lives, to a perfect God who seems too big or too far from us. The Truth is He became small, so He could be close, so He could take our burdens - because He loves us so deeply that we really don't understand it until we do give them up.

Then we look in His face and there is relief. Release. Freedom. He embraces us with loving arms and saturates us with His peace that guards our hearts and minds.

And the old hymn sings of what's true:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Everything else dims. It is fleeting as well. In the light of the Eternal our burdens become light. Our hearts begin to rest, then we see it, in His face.



Seeking the face of God in times of trouble - Psalm 27


Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
(Helen H. Lemmel, 1992)

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace....