“Mommy?” Her tiny voice sounded from beneath the wooden dock where my husband and I were casting our fishing line into the sparkling pond at our home.
“Yes?” I answered, mirroring her voice inflection.
“Mommy?!” She chirped again, and this time her voice was accompanied with a vigorous splashing as she swam out from beneath the dock and into my view.
“I need to see your face!” she said, instantly making me smile.
I don’t even remember now what was so urgent for her to tell me mid-swim. But it struck me how, as a small child, she desired to see my face while she was speaking to me. She had only been a few feet below me under the dock, but that wasn’t good enough for her.
I thought back to all of the times in my early Christian life when I desperately wanted to see God’s hand in the details of my life. I used to beg God to let me see His hand, His fingerprints in my circumstances. There were times when He allowed me to see it, and there were times when He kept Himself obscure. During our first year of marriage, which was spent in and out of the hospital fighting for my life and our baby’s, God’s hand was devastatingly obscure. If anything, it felt more like a hand of unkindness.
When we went through ministry valleys, I begged God to let us see His hand so that we would know we were right where He wanted us. He was, again, often painfully obscure.
Interestingly, when I use hindsight on those experiences, I can see His hand quite clearly. Even though I probably know only a fraction of His works, I do know many of the specific ways that He was working.
But in the moment, His hand was obscure. And as God has matured me in faith, He has changed my focus. While it’s not wrong to ask to see His hand (and there are times when He does reveal it), there is something better that we can and should be asking of God.
We need to ask to see His face, for grace to stay fixed on Him.
“Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face continually.” 1 Chronicles 16:11
There are situations in my life, and in yours, where we desperately want to see God move and work. We want Him to change things, to bring details together, to answer our requests, to heal, to mend, to relieve from pressure, to “intervene.” But we all know that He doesn’t work on our time table, or in the ways we expect.
I believe He uses His own time table and His own ways to teach us to seek Him as a person, and not what He can do for us. We all know people in our lives who operate on politics- all the back scratching and drama and favors that go on in government also sadly go on in churches. Often relationships are based on what one party does for the other, and once the benefit expires, so does the relationship.
But God does not operate like this. His sovereignty is flawless, his character unchanging.
Which makes Him the most solid and perfect Person to cling to when we can’t see His hand in our lives. He has made it so that we can always, always see His face! Through His Word, His beauty shines. His favor smiles. His holiness purifies. His love comforts and keeps.
And we find ourselves saying, like my daughter under the dock, “God? God?! I need to see Your face!”
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
I don’t know what you are facing today, or where you desperately want to see God’s hand. But be comforted, friend, because while God may hide His hand for a time, He will never hide His face!
Let’s determine to be women who seek His face continually. The treasure hidden in this choice is that someday we will be able to look back and see the trace of His fingers in the details of our lives.
A Kindred Spirit
P.S. There are only about 4 weeks left to register for our pastors’ wives retreat! Join us at our beautiful NC venue for 3 days of solid, Christ-focused encouragement. You’ll be spoiled rotten, loved on, listened to, prayed with, and left alone to relax if you need it! 🙂 Click here or explore my menu bar at the top of the page for more info.