Grace Age: 2 years, 1 month
She steps carefully forward. Her hands press outward to get a sense of what’s around. She laughs as she stumbles to regain footing.
“Mommmmyyyy… Daddddyyyy…” she calls out in sing-song.
“Where’s Gracie????” we call back.
“HAAAAHAAAA!!!” she screeches in discovery with a room-filling laugh.
Her ears are sharp to hear, making up for what she cannot see. She moves toward our voices, stumbles and laughs again. Through the blanket draped over her head, we can see her cheeks plump with laughter and the soft outline of her cherub face. She walks blindly giggling trying to find us. This is a game of adventure and suspense, of purposely dulling one of her main senses to make a game of finding her way. And all the while, even in the tripping and falling, she is delighted.
I am struck by how this child’s game is a reflection of our walk on earth. While we are here we cannot see God very clearly. We only have small glimpses of Him and His plans for us. As we navigate through life we cannot see what is ahead, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible says “faith is the eye of the soul.” In this world we can only see as if looking through dark glass, but the eye of our soul gives us a vision to know there is something on the other side of that dark glass.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then [we will see] face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know in full. (1Corinthinas 13:12)
John Wesley describes it as viewing the world in imperfect reflections that are dim, faint and obscure. Our walk in the world is a kind of riddle often puzzling to us. Wesley says: “Even when God reveals things to me, a great part of them is still kept under veil.” We cannot see, know, or understand all of God’s plans for our path. But, someday it will be revealed to us. And this is the purpose of our faith—to keep us focused on the eternal, fixed toward that revelation unseen. To “walk by faith” means not to dwell on the temporal, the “here and now.” It is a false sense of security to put our hope and trust in what we think we can see as “concrete”— “enough’ money, a “responsive” government, “cutting-edge” science, “healthy” diets, “intimate” relationships and “good” investments. Our real security lies in the things we cannot see or fully comprehend. This is where we should fix our gaze.
For things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
But all too often this is not our view of things. Unlike Gracie, we do not like being blinded by the veil. We do not like the unknown. We do not like not knowing where we are going, what will happen or why. We want to see. We want control. We want evidence and understanding. Our skepticism and desire to “see” overrides our childlike faith and wonder. We trade God in for other explanations that “make sense”— scientific solutions, political answers, psychological explanations or philosophical contemplations. But that is not what God wants of us. He wants our faith and trust to be in Him who is unseen— unseen by the human eye, yet found by the eye of our soul. Though we can only perceive the world now as dimly through glass, we know there is something on the other side— something which will surprise us with tremendous joy when it is finally revealed. And we can rejoice as we wander, wait and believe!
Though now you do not see him, yet believing you rejoice with joy inexpressible… 1 Peter 1:8
This is what God wants of us: To believe. To walk by faith, not by sight. To embrace the thrill of joy in not knowing what’s in store for us. To let faith be the eye of our soul leading us on the great adventure He sets before us. He wants us to seek- inquisitively searching, touching, listening for His voice as we journey and develop the spiritual senses which reveal the rough outlines of where we are and what’s to come. Despite our tripping and falling, our bumps and bruises along the way, our countenance and our conduct express the excitement of surrendering our intuitive desire for control to our counter-intuitive eye of faith.
It is like Gracie playing this game of blindness. She knows the blanket over her head is temporary. She is elated by the adventure. She is thrilled by the unknown, because she knows that there is something out there. She knows she cannot see where she is going, but knows that she is going somewhere, and that “somewhere” is revealed when the blanket is pulled away. She finds joy in the surprise of seeing where she’s ended up, and usually she has ended up holding tightly to mom or dad. The big part of this game for Gracie is finding either of us. She calls out for us, gropes, listens for our voice and moves toward us. Though she has little ability to see where she is going, she is determined to find us, and is elated when she does.
This is our adventure with Him. Though we cannot distinguish things clearly in this life, think of yourself like Gracie with a veil over your eyes. Grope, walk, and feel your way about. Call out His name, and listen for His voice… then move in His direction… be determined to find Him, for he waits to reward you with a spectacular unveiling! Like Gracie, you will be tickled and rejoice with a joy inexpressible!