Being a pushover for competition, I joined with fellow college students one evening in the church’s Activities Building to play “Sardines” – a twist on the childhood favorite “Hide and Seek”. We often played on small college campuses, in church buildings, or inside large facilities because a big area was needed for this game. To complicate the game, complete darkness was required, and flashlights were forbidden.
To play, one person hid while 50 or so looked for them. When the person looking located the person hiding, they added themselves to the hiding place. The last one to find them was “it” the next time (but more importantly… the loser!)
It was peculiar walking around for 45 minutes and not seeing a soul! I looked more than once in every classroom, under every table, behind every door – but I was clearly the only one who had not located the group. Where could so many people be hiding together, and I NOT KNOW!?
On the second floor of this building, I peered into a classroom. In the distance I made out the vague shape of a person. Oh how wonderful, someone else was still in the game! I could not see who it was but as I ran across the dark room toward them, they ran toward me. When we got close enough to whisper, I said, “Hey have you seen anyone else?” They did not answer. “HEY – have you seen anyone?” No answer. “Hey, can you HEAR me?!” Finally, I reached out to grab their arm to gain their attention …only to find I had been talking to a mirror the entire time!
Immediately the lights came on, revealing everyone hiding in the very same room! We all burst into laughter. I was in fact “the loser”, feeling it in a myriad of ways (but still able to see the humor of the moment).
Have you ever looked around and attempted to interpret what was going on in your life by information you could only see dimly? How many times have you faced things in your own life that left you wondering, why would God do it this way….I just don’t understand.
In my life, it seems to happen pretty frequently. Though the answer in my mind is usually a quick “Absolutely!”, the day-to-day moments mingled with my own fallenness bring more of a pause, while this question materializes from the enemy: Can you trust God?
Motherhood has been the most persistent wrestling ground for this question in my life. During the daily strains of motherhood, dimness prevails with “why” questions. Why is it so hard to help my child who struggles with anxiety? Why does this cycle continue with my Autistic son? Why does it seem no matter how hard I try it is never enough? While motherhood is not the only place this question of trusting God is posed and answered, it is where I am most desperate to see God display His sufficiency and compassion in the presence of my brokenness and ineptness.
Why is there so much darkness if I walk in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7)?
…Because Jesus has not yet returned, and this world is full of darkness.
On this side of eternity, I myself, my children, and my methods are fallen and redeemed. My circumstances, my choices, my perspectives are all fallen and redeemed. Because of my fallen nature I am still not seeing what God sees, but because I am redeemed, I have been given eyes to see by faith. We are as 1 Cor 13:12 says it, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.” (ESV)
Because of this dimness, we cannot trust what our eyes alone can see, because our hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). What we see (or what we think we see) isn’t clear. (I believe this is why we so often fall for the enemy’s lies, because he meets us in these dark places and speaks things our deceitful hearts crave in the flesh to hear. That’s why Ephesians 6 admonishes us to take up the shield of faith that extinguishes the flaming darts of the evil one.)
So, what does faith see? Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” How do we know what to hope for? How do we form our convictions? God enables us to see what faith sees through the word of Christ. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Rom 10:17). Faith sees the truth of God’s word and believes it. Faith sees the reality in Heaven, where all things are made right, and sin, death, and sadness have all been wiped away. Faith enables us to see dimly what God sees fully because He is Light and in Him is no darkness (1 John 1:5). We wait for true sight in hopeful expectation.
By faith, I witness God moment by moment condescending in love and reaching down into the filth of this life, to set my feet upon the Rock. By faith, I hold on to 1 Cor 13:12, “Now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known,” I am known. Not I will be known. We may not know everything fully, but that is not the case with God. He knows and holds it all. He is all-loving, and we are known by Him. Therefore, we cast all of our cares on Him, because He cares for us (1 Pet 5:7). This is why God can be trusted.
My encouragement to you is: Look beyond what you cannot see clearly to what only faith can see. We see dimly now (like reaching out to mirrors), but there is coming a day when our faith will be made sight. We will see God’s plan unfolded and fulfilled clearly as face to face. We understand only partially and dimly now, but one day we will understand (as if someone turned the light on in the dark room). I imagine that day to be filled with joy and laughter – but this time I will be the WINNER!
Blog by DeAnna Gibson