Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Light of His Face

"Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk O LORD, in the light of your face." - Psalm 89:15

The constant buzz, whir and images of our culture keep me distracted.  It's not hard to do, because I'm looking for distraction.  But it keeps me from enjoying the one truest thing: the knowledge of God.

In the passage above it speaks of how "blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk in the light of the LORD's face."  I am one of those blessed people, and how often I forget it.

This morning, as I was attempting to meditate and then scribble down some thoughts from God or from me (jury still out on that one), I was encouraged to be vigorous in my studies, as the end of my studies are and should be to know God better and to walk in the light of his face.

I find the whole image of God's face shining on me extremely comforting.  Recently, Melissa and I have been cracking down on our little 3-year-old David.  Sometimes my face has been stern in disapproval, other-times silly in playfulness and at others just glowing in love and pride.  David has the privilege of living in the light of my face, at least when I'm being attentive.

My guess is as we've been ratcheting up discipline in response to his ramped-up defiance, that sometimes he wishes that we wouldn't have our faces turned on him.  I have a friend who has MS and struggles profoundly with this precise question.  The face of God is always upon him, and like Job, his sentiment is sometimes that God would just leave him alone.

But God has given my friend courage.  He shows great courage, that while he sometimes feels that he's under God's thumb and wiggling to get out, he knows deep down that there is no better place to be.

I'm hesitant to say it (as it might sound trite) but suffering in the light of God's face brings blessing.  It is this hope that gives me hope on days when I don't want to live.  It is this hope, hope in the furious love of God, that enables me not to just totally pack it in when suffering hits.  And above all it's a hope that is grounded in relational realities far deeper than can be unpacked with words.  It is the hope of the Father yearning for his child's growth.

As I looked at David this morning, face all sweaty, splotchy and snotty, moaning and thrashing at me in fury, I think I caught a glimpse of how our heavenly father sees us even in these moments.  It is in precisely these moments that God sees us with great pride and with great love.  Why does God keep his face on us?  You tell me.  It's a mystery.  But one that I am glad for.


caron smed said...

Thanks Phil for that blog I never looked at it that way before His face and our faces especially in the view that others see. It is humbling to think of the many times my face was not one my kids would have wanted to look at. Now when my adult kids see my face and don't like it they tell me. Change can happen no matter how old we are. Now that is a tender mercy.

Philip said...

Hey Caron,
Great to hear from you and I'm glad you're enjoying the blog! Your idea your kids sharing what they see in your face is an interesting take on it as well. It makes me think of how God likes to hear from us about what we see in his. Thanks! I hope y'all are doing well!