Monday, June 5, 2017

Can You See Me Now?

Can You See Me Now?

This morning I took another dawn bike ride, the sun beginning to throw its golden beams on the trees. The same blanket of purple spread even wider than the morning before. The scent of the cool dawn was rising to greet me. It gave my mind pause to praise God and His magnificent creation as I gazed into the multicolored clearing ahead. It brought to mind the Johnny Nash song, I Can See Clearly Now:

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun shiny day.

Then as I turned toward the Lake it began to change. The green-forested hill ahead began to be a little fuzzy. The mist was rolling in. The wind had changed and the cold Lake breezes still in the 40s were meeting the warmer late spring warmth. Fog was moving over the meadow. Soon a verse came to mind about the coming fog, making bleary the view. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known”  (1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV). This scene opening up before me with the clear being eaten by the silver mist reminded me that on this side of heaven we do not see clearly always. In fact, if we do not know God, but only of Him, we have a very slanted world-view. For the world “sees through the glass darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV). Yes, since Paradise and man’s sin, Satan has become the “angel of light” in the world. Yes, and Satan is a liar and the father of darkness. He makes all things not of God look good. He plays to our sense and sensualities. But “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7 ESV). Now there is a clear and wonderful promise.

Well, I have said a mouthful, perhaps making your eyes grow dim. But do not be deceived Satan wants it that way. God wants to make clear the way to walk. He has said, “Whether you turn to the left or the right, you will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘this is the way, walk in it”’ (Isaiah 30:21). I have written often on this most important verse and Word of God in my life, because God Himself spoke it too me audibly at the lowest point in my life to point me to the truth and my calling into ministry as a healthcare chaplain and now writer. I had seen very dimly, and then clarity came in like a tsunami. I was changed and my former “rose colored” glasses were now clearer, even at night. But these rose colored glasses, that I'm looking through, show only the beauty, 'Cause they hide all the truth,” John Conlee wrote these words in his 1978 country song just after the pain of Watergate and the Viet Nam War. It was well into the Hippy phase of our crazed youth. But it pointed to our only seeing what we wanted or what felt good. But the truth often hurts and is harder to see. We need another godly friend, circumstances or God through His Holy Spirit to reveal and make clear the foggy views we develop in our humanity.

The above photograph by my cousin Douglas F. Frank was taken in the Badlands presenting an almost ethereal view of cloud shadowed light on the dark mountains. Life looks like this often. 

“Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.” Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows.  As I return home from my ride, a strong North East wind has rushed across the fields, pushing out the grey fog again. It is replaced with cool and dry air mixed with the scent of flowers.  Spring is moving and our home is brightening. Yet this light is of a “spirit of divine discontent” as Grahame wrote. He was telling us to look at these changes as from God to bring us to a contemplative place in our hearts and minds. Another quote concerning Toad says, “All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived; and still, as he lived, he wondered.” Do not miss it, Recapture The Wonder, as Ravi Zacharias wrote about the enchanting wonder of the beauty around us being greater than our small struggles. Seek it, guard it and possess it.

I have written on seeing God now, not just hearing Him. The Apostle Paul has written to the Romans that, “since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- His eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20). We have no excuse; God has made Himself very apparent to all for our good and His glory. Have you, do you see Him? If not, pause and pursue the truth, starting with His creation. There are billions of stars and almost limitless depths of the seas, teeming with creatures, many still unknown to man. God made them. But only man is made in His image and likeness. Yet, we are in fogs and mists, and are like vapors, disappearing after only a few years on an ancient earth. We will return to God, but may not stay with Him. We have a choice to live in His light and love or in the darkness away from His presence where no love or life can sing but only sorrow. Take your pick, it is for eternity, found or lost.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.