Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Seeing God

There appears to be some discrepancy about whether it was the first person to enter space, a Russian named Yury Gagarin, or his successor, Major Gherman Titov, to make the bold, agnostic assertion after returning to Earth. However, the various sources do agree that the sentiment of the proclamation was: “I have been in the heavens and looked and looked, but I didn’t see God.”
Contrast this with the observation of John Glenn (who on February 20, 1962, became the first American to orbit the Earth). Observing the heavens and earth from the window of his Discovery spacecraft as he made a return flight as a senior citizen on November 4, 1998, he stated: "To look out at this kind of creation and not believe in God is to me impossible.”
Not surprisingly, the Bible supports John Glenn’s testimony.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
(Psalm 19:1)
For ever since the world was created,
people have seen the earth and sky.
Through everything God made,
they can clearly see his invisible qualities –
his eternal power and divine nature.
So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
(Romans 1:20, NLT)

So - how can one person look and say, “I see no God,” while another looks and says, “I see God everywhere?”
Well, don’t we find ourselves vacillating between those extremes every day of our lives? Even as believers, don’t we find ourselves sometimes acting like the cosmonaut and sometimes like the astronaut?
· We may say, “Thank you God for that promotion!” Or we may declare, “I finally got the recognition I deserve for working my rear off.”
· Perhaps we would exclaim, “Whoohoo – this is my lucky day!” Or perhaps would we realize, “I am blessed to be a blessing?”
· In despair, we might ask, “How could God possibly let this happen?” Or, we might humbly extol, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away - Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Same circumstances. Same view. But something different is seen.
Do we look and see the unlimited vastness of an Almighty God? Or do we gaze into the emptiness of a finite “self?”
We do believe that God is omniscient, don’t we? And we believe He is omnipotent, right? And, He’s omni-present, isn’t He? So - He is present and aware and in charge of everything that happens in our lives, either by actively making it happen or permissively allowing it to happen – Right?
But are we really seeing Him in everything and in everything that happens to us? When you were late to work because of that wreck, did you see God in that? Did you see God’s part in that dog that kept you awake by barking in the middle of the night? Surely God wasn’t involved with that broken sprinkler head you had to work on last weekend, was He?
Sometimes things appear to happen for our good; sometimes we can’t imagine how good could possibly come from our circumstances. But does our vision of the situation determine whether or not God is in it? Of course not.
He is there. He is aware. He is in control.
That should provide us with a great sense of peace – to know that it’s not all just some cosmic accident; to know that there’s an order to everything because there’s a all-powerful Creator behind every thing; to know that He has a plan that cannot possibly be thwarted; to know that we are somehow a part of that plan.
It is just incredible to understand that God loves me (John 3:16), that He has a plan for my good (Romans 8:28), and that He is sovereign. He is certainly in the “big stuff,” but He is definitely in the “small stuff” as well.

Do we need to be able to see a physical manifestation of God? Do we need to understand everything that is around us in order to believe that there is a God? Do we need to examine the far side of the universe or scrutinize sub-atomic particles to find God?
No, He’s right there. You can’t possibly miss Him. You just need to look to TO Him instead looking FOR Him.

Seeing Him more,
Craig Hollingsworth

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