Blinding Glory, Truer Sight

Maddie, blinded by the sunlight from behind me, holding up a dirt clod she found in the shape of a heart.

One morning last week I ran early enough that the sun barely peeked over the horizon. I headed south and felt the warmth rise to my shoulders. Then I turned east. The sun shone through a clump of trees ahead of me. I blinked a little at the sudden light, just at eye level. Then suddenly, unexpectedly, there was a break in the tree branches, and the rays hit me full on. I had to close my eyes against them, but they still pierced through my lids. For a moment I was blinded to everything but the glow.

Later that week I listened to the entire book of Revelation at one sitting (we were driving to Kansas for a wedding) and then today I finally got through the bulk of Job and listened to the final chapters, where God speaks.

The audio version of Revelation was, though word-for-word, read by various actors and accompanied by stirring music. My heart thumped, as if I were listening to Lord of the Rings. My mind pictured the woman and the dragon, the angels and elders round the throne, the Lamb slain, and the Warrior triumphant. For an hour and a half I lost sight of the details of my life and was blinded by the glory of the Magnificent and His story.

And today, as I listened to Job, I found myself silenced, just as he was. When he said, “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know,” I echoed it. Job saw the smallness of his own complaints and of himself; he saw a bit of the BIG picture, and I caught a glimpse of it, too.

A.W. Tozer says that the most important thing about a person is how he or she sees God. My view of God needs to be expanded to accept His blinding attributes as well as His more, well, comfortable ones. The Lamb that was slain is also the snow-white haired, blazing-faced God-man with a sword in His mouth. Job repented “in dust and ashes” before this God; Isaiah knew his unworthiness so well he said he was “lost”; and John fell at his feet as “though dead.”

This kind of knowledge is not comfortable or easy. But it is good. Job, Isaiah, and John went on to live with a greater knowledge of God, and they anticipated an eternity of being fully aware of and fully satisfied in this blinding Glory.

From Blinding Glory to Truer sight.

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.”

House Hunt

I took this picture in N. Carolina at my family's Thanksgiving gathering. This beautiful sunset was a gift, as was the entire trip.

We’re in full house hunt mode right now—and I’m becoming consumed by it in my own particular “weird” way. I get obsessed with the “spiritual” aspect of these kinds of decisions. “Which house does God want us to have?” “Is this house a better action of our stewardship?” “What if He doesn’t want us to spend that much money?” “What if we pick the wrong house?” “What if He doesn’t want us to buy at all?”

I slip back into seeing God as someone other than what my studies and experience have shown me He actually is.
I worry over the house hunt as if it is a test with poor directions and He is some vague, distant teacher who will slash red all over it if I mess up.

I pray over our choice nervously, like he is a game show host presenting me with three doors that all look the same. “Which one are you going to pick? Only ONE is the right choice. The others are all wrong, wrong, WRONG!”

This morning I was doing more obsessive praying/answer-seeking when He turned the tables on me—and asked ME a question.

It was right out of the catechism I memorized in my childhood.

“What is the chief end of man?”

Answer: “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

Ah!

In my quest to learn the seemingly illusive “will of God” regarding a house, I’ve lost sight of God Himself.

So it’s back to the basics I have to learn again and again. The question “How are You guiding us in regards to housing?” is not best answered by continually praying about THAT, but by spending time focusing on HIM, praising Him, ENJOYING Him. When my view of HIM becomes clearer, so do the answers to other questions.

Or, maybe, I can stop seeing the questions and see Him, my guide; I can stop seeking little answers and be satisfied with the biggest answer of all.

*Oh, Lord, help me to see YOU more clearly, may THAT be my aim—so that I may love You more dearly and, as a natural progression, follow You more nearly in all I do—including—ha!—decisions about housing that are not nearly as big as I make them out to be. Help me to make the Big decision each day, over and over: to seek You.

*St. Richard Chichester, a saint from the 13th century, wrote the original form of this prayer; it was also used in “Day by Day,” a song in the 70s musical Godspell. This is the original form:
Dearest Lord Jesus,
Savior and Friend,
Three things I pray: to
See thee more clearly, to
Love thee more dearly, to
Follow thee more nearly,
Day by Day.
Amen.