Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Finding God's Presence ~ Smudges and All

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

The periwinkle blue of the sky winked at me through the panes of glass. Branches of oak and elm boogied in the breeze - the gentle blowing breeze coming up over the ridge. Cool mountain air streamed in through open windows guarded by screens, smudged a little with the need to be cleaned. I experienced the fall day from afar - I could see it. I could feel it. I could smell it. And yet, as long as I stayed inside my home there were barriers to its beauty.

I think the Lord is like that. We can see Him. We can smell the sweet aroma of His Presence. We know the cool breeze when He is near and yet we maintain the barriers that keep us at a safe distance. A distance that forbids intimacy. A distance that forbids devotion.

But in the distance we miss His glory. The beauty of His holiness is right there. Through the dirty window panes. Through the screen that separates. Beyond the veil. But we miss it when we fail to see and know that just as He is in us, we are also in Him. We are surrounded by His presence.

Jesus said, "Abide in Me, and I will abide in you."

I'm learning to look beyond myself to see the Lord all about me. How else could I abide in Him? I can see His majesty and His power. I can sense His wonder in the beauty of creation - His attention to details that most certainly overflows into my life. I'm trying to understand His holiness, because it is His holiness that sets Him apart as the One True God, and it is His love that covers us in a robe of righteousness that we might be holy also. But is it His holiness that we use to keep ourselves at a distance? How could a holy, magnificent God want to engage with us throughout the day?

That takes me back to the screen and the dirty window pane.

I don't want to view the Lord through a veil of smudged window panes. He doesn't see the smudges that I use to separate myself from Him. He sees the robe of righteousness placed gently on my shoulders by Jesus.

But I see the smudges.

And it breaks my heart.

I cry out to the Lord to draw me closer, to press through the deceiver's lies. The lies that tell me I cannot or should not believe that I can dwell richly with Elohim, the Creator of the Universe because of imperfections in my life. The lies that tell me I'm not worthy to be loved by such a great God. The lies ... yes, the lies. Pure and simple.

But here's the Truth:

"We all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory just as by the Spirit of the Lord." ~ 2 Corinthians 3:18

That means no more smudges. No more screens that separate.

No more lies.

It means running to His embrace - His holy, magnificent, tender embrace. 

Smudges and all.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

How could a holy, magnificent God want to engage with me? @NanJonesAuthor offers insight. (Click to Tweet)

If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page for a special blessing. I'm featuring Addison Road singing, "What Do I Know of Holy". I think it will bless you and strengthen you for the journey.

1 comment :

  1. I'm so glad I got to read this before leaving the house this morning. I, too, have smudged windows and a foggy outlook. Yes, this is exactly what I needed today. And I love that song! Much Love, Marcie :-) P.S. Now I have Sandy Patty's song, "We Shall See Him As He Is" running through my head. I think that's the title. I'll find it later and send it to you. OOPS! Gotta run! Love you!