Have You Seen God Today?

{By Lana Jackson}

“Our word is a kaleidoscope of wonders and divinely engineered realities, fitly joined together to showcase the greatness of God . . . I know we think of this world as fallen and hopelessly trapped in evil—and so it is. However, even under the curse of sin, Planet Earth remains breathtakingly beautiful. The creation is, in fact, the very handiwork of God. From Heaven’s view, our planet is literally filled with the glory of God.

We have no perspective of the miracle of life itself; its substance so surrounds us that we fail to see it as unusual. But biological life is anything but typical. It is utterly the rarest thing on this side of the universe. As far as men can discern from their space probes and telescopes for billions of light years in every direction, life exists only on Planet Earth, this teardrop from the eye of God.

So, my question to you, O seeker of God, is this: Have you looked with God-honoring eyes at the creation surrounding you? Have you seen God’s glory today?

– Francis Frangipane, “And I Will Be Found By You”

I want to see God. I know, only dead people see God. But I REALLY want to see God and experience his glory in some tangible way, on Earth, while I am fully alive and in my right mind. And I just have this anticipation that it will be any day now, that I’ll go to say a prayer, or go for a walk, or I’ll go to sleep and have a dream, and CRACK ‘A SLAM the Spirit of God will appear to me in some marvelous vision and completely ruin everyday life for me!!

I’m afraid to admit this, but I’m a little bit jealous of folks like: Moses, Abraham, Isaiah, David, Habakkuk, Solomon, Zechariah, Paul and the John the Apostle. All these guys are noted in scripture as having seen God’s glory. [See: Exodus 33:18-23, Acts 7:2, Isaiah 6:1, Ezekiel 3:23, 2 Samuel 6:2, Habakkuk 3:3, 2 Chronicles 7:1, Zechariah 1:8, 2 Corinthians 12:2, and Revelations 1:12-20.]

I suppose it’s a little silly but I want to see the glory of God, like they did—I actually think about it. A lot. And it’s not because I’m obsessed with having supernatural experiences, to the best of my knowledge I’m not a weirdo . . . probably.

I just feel this way because I want my worship of God to be complete.

I want to see God high and lifted up so that I can worship him in the way he deserves. I want to see Jesus as he is so that my prayer and devotional time will be a natural response to my utter captivation of his being, instead of the work and routine of Bible study. I want to see God so that the beatific vision of him will eclipse the 10,000 lesser problems I’m currently dealing with. I want to experience God’s glory because I’m exhausted trying to dodge the enemy’s flaming arrows—spiritual warfare makes me tired and cranky.

I just know that if I could see him, really see him as he is in all his glory, my life would be different . . . I would be different. I know you feel the same way too.

Yet, this quote above forces us to realize that while we’re sitting here waiting to be caught up in the third heaven, we have forgotten to consider that at this very moment the glory of God surrounds us.

Paul said in Romans 1:20 that the eternal power of God and his divine nature are “clearly seen,” and can be understood through what has “already been made,” so that men are pretty much without excuse in claiming that there is no God to worship.

If the heathen are without excuse, then what’s our excuse for not seeing God’s glory?

If the glory of God can clearly be seen based on what’s already down here, then maybe we don’t have to stand on top of a mountain and beg God for his glory to pass by, like Moses did. Maybe it’s already passing by and we’re just not seeing it. Or, maybe we don’t really want to see it because it’s not happening the way we want it to.

This reminds me of one of my favorite scenes, from one of my favorite movies called “The Prestige.” In the film one of the main characters explains the three parts of a magic trick, at the end of the explanation he says:

“Now you’re looking for the secret [to the trick]. But you won’t find it because of course, you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.”

This made me realize, perhaps I’m not really looking. I want my experience of God to be some magical explosion of glory because I don’t have time to settle down, ignore the FOMO and be still long enough to see the magic he’s trying to show me—right now. I just want to be dazzled . . . and quickly.

But you can’t expect to see God’s glory if you’re always rushing about, or closed up indoors, or distracted by problem-solving every difficulty you encounter, or preoccupied by some mind-numbing exercise in futility like cleaning out your email.

There really is magic in our world, don’t laugh because C.S. Lewis would totally agree with me!

To see the magic – to see God’s glory – you must position yourself to see it.

You can’t expect to experience God when you give him whatever time is left over at the end of the week, when you’re burned out, the bills are all paid, despondency from daily trials sets in, and you’ve become distracted by leisure on your weekend days.

You have to look up at the sky, at the end of a very long day and realize that the sunset appears to be a series of strategically placed brushstrokes, strewn across the sky in what appears to be 11 different shades of orange and pink.

You have to notice the oddity of squirrels when they dart across your lawn. How are they able to move so fast with such little feet? How do they get their tails to be so fluffy if they never brush them?

You have to look at a newborn baby and wonder how something so little, so utterly defenseless and delicate can even make it past their first year of life?

You have to look at the married couple in the line behind you at Target and marvel at how a man and a woman can love each other at all, when people are so messed up and human emotions seem to fluctuate on a minute-by-minute basis.

You have to run your hands through the grass and consider that they were made in the shape of blades and not circles.

You have to ask God random questions in your prayer journal, like: Why are bald eagles bald, does it make them more aerodynamic?

You have to make time to ponder things like flowers that can thrive in bitterly cold temperatures of -20 degrees Fahrenheit—Edelweiss anybody?

You have to consider what Mark Batterson says in his book “In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day,” that your best thoughts about God, on your best days, fall 13.7 billion light years short of God’s thoughts. Apparently, astrophysicists have discovered that the farthest galaxy from ours is at least 13.7 billion light years away (it’s probably even farther than that now).

All of this is glorious to me . . .

So here’s my thought, instead of waiting for God to blast me with some rhapsodic theophany, or a sublime vision maybe I should just start paying attention to things that are actually happening around me. I mean if God wants to give me a rhapsodic experience of his glory, he can definitely do that, but maybe I don’t need it. Now that I’m looking for God’s glory intentionally, it just seems so pervasive in all of life.

His glory sticks out, like a red-head in a sea of blonde people—you just can’t miss it.

What I’m saying is that seeing God should be a normal and obvious experience, because his glory is just so everywhere.

I think Jesus would agree with me too. Jesus constantly drew his experiences of God the Father from the natural world around him.

He told the disciples to “consider the lilies” in Luke 12:27. And he used many parables about things like farming and sheep to explain the Kingdom of God. He didn’t preach on fancy pulpits, instead he took his disciples to hilltops and lakesides where they could see and encounter God in his creation. And Jesus often sought refuge from the demands of life in quiet places, mostly gardens, most specially the Garden of Gethsemane (John 18:2). I’m sure he probably laid on the grass, alone, starring up in the night sky (sans light pollution) counting stars and pondering the vast, majestic beauty of the Father whom he loved.

Jesus was resourceful like that, he knew how to seek the supernatural in the natural. If Jesus learned how to do this while he walked our Earth, we can learn how to do this too.

This is our privilege as children of the Most High, we have the unique ability to see the magic in ordinary days. We have the gift of seeking God on Earth, while he may be found and everywhere he may be found (Jeremiah 29:13-14). God promised us that if we look for him with our whole hearts, he would let us find him. He promised. He promised.

So, have you seen God today?

 

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