In past issues, we’ve talked about how we see others. But recently I’ve been thinking about how God sees us and our homes.
It all started when I was reading the story of Hagar and Ishmael. Her story is a sad one. She was an innocent victim of Sarai’s misguided attempt to fulfill God’s promise of a son. After Hagar was pregnant, her relationship with Sarai became so bad, she saw no choice but to run away. Pregnant, angry, alone, she did not believe anyone knew about her or cared. Then God’s angel visited her. He told her she had to return and submit to Sarai, and promised her a son who would have descendants too numerous to count. Comforted, and with a promise from God, Hagar called God by a name that clearly described her experience with him: The God Who Sees Me. (Gen. 16:13) For God had seen all of this crazy, mixed up story.
That led me to read Psalm 139 again. It tells us in more detail the ways God sees us. He sees us when we sit and stand. He knows our thoughts and our words before we speak them. He sees us in the best and worst places we go. He sees us as well in darkness as in light. He even saw us being formed in our mother’s womb. You may know all of that, but perhaps this is a good time to focus on those truths again- find freshness in them.
So, how does God see you?
God sees your whole life; past, present and future. Since He sees it all, He is not surprised by events that surprise you. He sees how each part fits into His plan, what He can do with it, and how He will make it all work for your good.
He saw your body being formed in your mom’s womb. He knew the effect those genes and hormones would have on how you grew and how you age. He doesn’t look at us and say, “Oh, my, you’ve gotten quite fat or wrinkled or gray.” As we give our body to Him, He helps us become all we should be. He helps us be satisfied with ourselves. He gives us strength every day for that day’s needs. He sees you as you are and loves you.
He sees your thoughts and feelings. He sees when you are irritated or afraid or tired. He sees when you struggle with anger, and calms you if turn to Him. He provides a way of escape from your temptations. He sees you turn your thoughts away from the world’s way of thinking and He is pleased. As you spend time in His Word and with Him, even your thoughts are more in tune with Him.
He sees your hopes and dreams. Many of these He placed there for you to have a future to aim for. He knows what it will take to get you there. He will take you step by step to see your God-given dreams fulfilled.
He sees your hard work. He planned your work and then He helps you do what He planned. It makes Him happy when He sees your desire to please Him in everything you do. Whether your work is fulfilling or tedious, whether you see the worth of that work in this life or not, God stores up rewards in heaven for everything you’ve done in obedience to Him.
He sees where you go and why. Your agenda is not hidden from Him. Nothing pleases Him more than when you turn over your agenda to Him. He can turn it into a sweet-smelling offering.
He sees when others take advantage of you or persecute you. Your tears are kept, as in a bottle, as a memorial to Him. It is His work to vindicate you. In His time and in His way, He will give everything back to its rightful owner.
He sees your needs. Why not pour out to Him what your needs are? He knows them, but He loves to hear you ask. He longs to talk to you and fellowship with you.
Now, how does He see your home? Go with Jesus on a devotional tour of your home.
You begin in your living room. The first thing He sees is the pictures on your walls. You show Him the pictures of your whole family. As He looks around He sees mementos you have on display. These are the things you want people to know about you. You are proud to show Him your trophies and awards.
You stand in awe, as you see something like a video. You see different people who have come to your door and how you greeted them. You watch as you tried to share your faith with the Jehovah’s Witness that came last week. You see the rather grimy looking gardener and the neighbor in a business suit that came with mail that was misdelivered. You also see the times you went out that door to take a casserole to a sick neighbor or to talk to your child’s school teacher. At some of these memories you feel sad, because you know you could have done better. But at others you feel His pat on you shoulder, for he saw you do a good thing with a good heart.
Next you take Jesus into your dining room. Is the atmosphere in your dining room one of joyous fellowship or silent tensions? As He looks around He comments on the fact that there is always room at your table for one more. He really likes you to be ready to feed whoever He sends to you. You tell him of all the thanksgiving celebrations you have had around that table, remembering all the Father’s provision to you and your family.
You move easily from there to the kitchen. The light of God’s love pours in the window to bless everyone who enters. When He looks at your kitchen sink, He smiles. While doing dishes and preparing meals, you prayed and sang to Him. He sees it as a lovely altar to God. He wants to look in your pantry. Does He see it full of expectation and a testimony to God’s good provision for you? Or does He see it full of fear for future lean times that might come?
You go to the family room together. Here you spend time talking about the things you and your family enjoy doing together. Some things He heartily commends you for. Other things He asks you to reconsider. Perhaps if you talk together as a family you can agree about some of the things worth changing.
Jesus suggests that you show Him the upstairs. You hesitate as you remember your unmade bed. He assures you He has seen unmade beds before. You pause outside your bedroom door, now forgetting the unmade bed and remembering the unresolved argument you had with your husband this morning. Jesus touches your shoulder and says it’s alright if you need to make a phone call before you show Him the rest. He leaves you alone for a few minutes while you quickly call your husband and say you’re sorry. You let him know you are planning his favorite meal for dinner tonight. As you hang up, Jesus smiles at you- and you are glad you made the call.
In the bedroom you again get to see something like a video. This time you see the recorded hopes and dreams you and your husband have shared. You can’t quite see the details, but you know in your heart that He is showing you the fulfillment of those desires that were given by God. It’s so good to know He knows our dreams and can encourage our hearts.
In your childrens’ bedrooms you remember going to your weepy child after a nightmare. You held him close to your heart as you prayed for God’s peace to help him sleep again. As He gave the child peace, He also quieted your raging fears. You got just a fleeting glimpse of the mighty warriors God has assigned as their guardian angels. As you look at each child’s bed you get a clearer view of that child’s potential than you ever had before. When you see them from His perspective, they sure look different.
There is one more door upstairs that you plan to walk right past. Jesus pauses and asks to see what’s inside. You say, “There’s nothing much in there, it’s just odds and ends.” He replies, “I really want to see inside.” You kind of hang your head and say, “If I open that door, You’re going to get buried in the stuff that falls out of it. It’s been a long time since I cleaned that closet.” He says, “Trust me. Open the door.” As you open the door, everything does begin to cascade out of that door. You see hurts, resentments, anger, fear, prejudices, jealousies, and doubts begin to tumble out. But an amazing thing happens as they pass the threshold. When they approach Jesus, they disappear.
When everything has fallen out, the closet looks bigger than you ever imagined it would be. It is sparkling clean and Jesus says an amazing thing. He whispers, “Enter, my child.” You want to say, “But that is just a closet.” Yet after all the other amazing things that have happened, you don’t dare. You take a step into the closet. As you do, it gets larger and larger and you begin to see treasures on the shelves that had seemed empty just a moment before. Jesus says, “When you emptied all the junk out, I was able to begin displaying all the treasures stored up for you in heaven.” What a joy it has been to see that closet the way He sees it!
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” – Psalms 139:23-24
In the light of eternity our lives look very different. It’s good to remember we have a relationship with The God Who Sees.