Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Seeing What is There

Let's be real. Most of us are dead. I know that most of the time I am. We see our problems and little more. We see red lights, the slow person in front of us, the traffic, and the clock and how much time is running out before our next "thing." We see the fresh stain on our shirt, the brakes that need to be fixed, the dishes that need to be done, and the bills that are piling up. We see the difficulties in our relationships, how we screwed up here or there today, and how our kids are just pulling on us when all we want is a few minutes to unwind.

In chapter 38 of Job, God gives Job an answer to his suffering complaints. When all of Job's suffering first came upon him, he handled it well ("the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord"), but as the pain and suffering lingered for some months, Job began to crack. He started to feel like a) God was his enemy, somehow, for bringing all this suffering, and b) there was some injustice in this, since Job knew (perhaps too well) that he was a godly man. After Elihu told Job and his misguided friends that they were both wrong in their understanding of the purpose of suffering, God entered the scene to address Job directly.

The dark, booming thunder clouds rolled in, and suddenly God spoke to Job from the whirlwind. The questions God aks Job are rhetorical -He is obviously not really asking Job for answers. He is declaring His "Godness" in the face of a tiny creature... Job. I love this one particularly:

"Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it? (Job 38:12-13)

God commands the morning. The dawn is an act of God. Amazing? When is the last time you thought of it that way? How often do you even notice the dawn, much less let it point you to the personal hand of God? God declares His "Godness" every day in bringing the dawn. Yet, so often we look at the things around us as though we are naturalists... atheists. Has our sense of wonder and awe at the hand of the One who made it and still, to this day, sustains and commands it, gone away?

I'm not a tree-hugger type at all, but this is something worth repenting of. We tend to think of sin in terms of bad things we do, often consciously, but some of the most deadly sin is simply forgetting God. You don't even see it happening. Everything else just becomes bigger as He becomes smaller. Our relationship with Him becomes mechanical, even non-existent, and as that does, so does the rest of life. The things, cares, and worries of the world become imminently more real, and they swallow us, they obscure His face.

I want to make a regular habit of taking a moment to quietly gaze at His creation and allow it to declare God's "Godness" to me. More importantly, I ask Him to give me that faith of a child which never gets bored with the wonders my Father does. I want to see His hand wherever I go. "Do it again, Daddy! Do it again, Daddy!"

O God, open my eyes, that I may be amazed at the works of your hands and the ways you daily, moment-by-moment, work your might and power to sustain and order it. May it be a delight to my soul as it points me to You, my Father, and Your beauty and superlativeness. May I never dishonor you by looking at the things around me like a naturalist viewing a mechanical, impersonal creation.

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