Yesterday we talked about our basic need to be seen. To be understood. We also discovered that placing our need to be seen in the hands of people can often result in disappointment. It’s important to connect with others without placing a heavy burden on them. At the same time there are those rare relationships, you may have a small handful, where you can bare your soul. And this is good. The depth of your relationships is in direct proportion to your ability to be vulnerable and open and to trust in the other.
Now if we are created in God’s likeness and in His image do you think that God wants to be seen also? And if so, how do we SEE God rightly? Or, better yet, how do we know if we have mistaken perceptions of God? This, I believe, is the biggest block to depth of relationship with God. Our own misperceptions.
When I was a teen saving to buy my first car I remember writing down a list of all the qualities I wanted in that car so that I could recognize it when I was looking through the used car ads in the newspaper. It had to be a convertible, no rust, less than 50,000 miles and less than $5,000. I remember driving out to look at a potential candidate and I knew immediately I had found it. It was exactly what I had written down.
After a traumatic experience which led me to walking away from the church for nearly two decades, I had mistakenly thought God didn’t care. I adopted the philosophy that if it is to be it’s up to me…and I am a very self-sufficient person, and it worked for awhile. I lived in this impersonal spiritual zone of energy and karma and new age philosophy trying to fill the void in my heart. It had some merit and yet I felt disconnected and distant.
Where was God in all of it?
Little did I know walking through the doors of a 12-step program would help me reconnect with my higher power that I choose to call Jesus. I began a search for deeper understanding and untangle some of the webs I had collected in my philosophy. I was told to make up something that would work for me. Anything. And so I wrote out another list.
What are the qualities I wanted in a ‘dream’ God. A God that I truly could love and have a relationship with? That might sound blasphemous but I encourage you to try it. Is your dream God totally loving, accepting and happy to see you? Does He have your best interest at heart? Does He orchestrate life to work out on your behalf?
And so my NEW perception of God is right, for me. I am not trying to hide myself anymore. I allow Him to see me with all my frailties and I am not afraid that He is judging me. I see Him as a Father who wants what is best for me, helps me understand and supports my decisions to try out new ideas in the game of life. Sometimes I succeed and He embraces me and celebrates my success. Sometimes I fail and still He embraces me and cheers me on congratulating me for trying. Either way, I know I am loved.
In Matthew 25: 14-30, we read the parable of the three servants. Their master gives each a sum of money to watch over according to their ability while he is absent on a trip. Upon his return he celebrates the two who wisely doubled the money they were entrusted with. But the one who dug his into the ground and returned what he was given He was angry with. Why?
I believe it is because that one didn’t see His Master rightly.
The third servant said, Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.
How would that feel to have someone say to you that they knew you were a harsh person? And that is why they did what they did? Yikes.
However based on the responses He gave to the two others, Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!, do you think that sounds like the voice of a harsh man?
So the third servant received harsh treatment because he believed his master was harsh. Is that telling? How powerful your beliefs are of God. It seems almost as though He will show up to you as you have believed.
Jesus says many times in the Gospels, be it done to you according to your belief. He isn’t in the business of making you believe anything. He is in the business of allowing you to believe what you want and your belief will determine your outcomes.
See God rightly today. If you feel disconnected from God, if you believe that He doesn’t care can you recalibrate your sensors? Reassess them. Change them. Fit them to reflect the true nature of God. Loving. Remember we love Him because He first loved us. What you look for you’ll fine. And when you believe God wants the best for you and that He is helping out when you ask Him to, you’ll start to notice all the ways that God is working things together for your good.
AND you’ll notice that you feel closer to God. You’ll sense a new vigor to spend time with Him sharing your most intimate thoughts and the details of your life. You’re being seen and you’re seeing God. Wow. What a concept!
Day 3 Lenten Love Prayer:
Forgive me for not seeing your rightly. Thank you for allowing me to choose my perceptions of You and today I choose to see how greatly you love me. How much you adore me. How happy you are when I spend time with you. How, like a proud father in the bleachers, you are cheering me on. When I fall you pick me up and reassure me that everything will be alright. You teach me gently and bandage my knee. When I score the game-winning point you are cheering the loudest. You are always proud of me for getting out there and trying. Never judging my attempts to experiment. Never walking away in disgust. You allow me time and space to grow and your ever-present love never fails.
Day 3 Lenten Love Scripture:
Matthew 12:23 The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!