My Facebook feed this morning was full of pictures of fireworks.
I used to take pictures of fireworks too. There’s something about colors and sparks in the sky that makes us want to try and capture what we see. But I slowly began to realize that the images I grabbed – even the good ones – just didn’t work for me. They were static…lifeless…lacking a true reflection of what I had seen with my own two eyes.
Fireworks are meant to be experienced by being there – not by looking at pictures of them later. Even watching on TV is just not the same. It’s still a dim reflection of standing there, gaze fixed on the sky, smelling the smoke, hearing the bangs and watching the colors drift to the ground. Being there. In the moment. Just watching.
God is like that, too. Talking about God, listening to a sermon, hearing a story about how He works – none of it compares with being fully in His presence, beholding Him. When we still everything in our hearts and sit with Him. Where we stop trying to capture and take something from the experience and just enjoy His presence. It came at a pretty high cost after all.
You can faithfully perform all the duties of being a Christian and still miss out on experiencing God.
“He is as willing to be a living, bright, glorious Reality to us….Let us endeavor to learn the blessed secret of abiding ever in the secret of His Presence and of being hidden in His Pavilion.” (Secret of Guidance F.B. Meyer)
Many people know the Scripture – “Lo, I am with you always” and it is true. He is always with us if we’ve surrendered to Him. But our human eyes and ears and hearts can be dull and slow when it comes to recognizing God’s presence, His wisdom and His guidance. We cannot expect to rush in, send a hurried greeting to God, and then have everything we need dropped in our laps so that we can hurry away again. No. We don’t need things FROM Him. We need Him. We need Him desperately.
So set aside the things of this world so you can fix your eyes on the beyond, on Christ. Don’t demand that He respond on your time schedule. Give up your checklist and hand over your heart. Be patient. Be persistent. Don’t give up and walk away and say “It’s not working.” Believe me, your obedience and faith in doing it will be changing you inwardly. Seek Him and don’t give up. He will answer You. Maybe not in the way you are expecting, but He will answer.
Start today. Start now. And don’t let a day go by where you do not sit with Him. He is the source of all.
Oh Lord, let your people be blessed anew with Your Presence. Help them to hear and see with new eyes and open their hearts to receive You afresh today. Your banner over us is love. Help us to know this. Amen