Window on the World

IMG_1942I am writing to you from an airplane slicing through swirls of creamy clouds as light as my Mom’s mashed potatoes. I love to look out airplane windows and contemplate life. There is just something about getting above the planet and looking down on the patchwork of crop fields dotted with meandering streams that gets me out of my myopic view of everyday life. I feel like pressing my nose against this window on the world for the entire flight.

Imagine the colossal view that God has not just of Earth and all the celestial wonders, but also a close-up watch on each of our lives. The ancient Jews called Him El Roi, which means “the God who sees.” He sees all the moments of our existence from our beginnings in the womb to the end of our days and every nanosecond in between.

God sees the wrap up of our 2015 and sees ahead to the adventures and challenges of 2016. He observes what we eat, how we drive, how we work, how we interact with others. El Roi never loses sight of who we are and what we need.

But you know what? At times I pause and wonder if God has diminishing vision. Hearing about unspeakable ISIS atrocities, or violence in America, or people suffering everything from cancer to loss of jobs ruffles my faith in God’s eyesight. Is God seeing this breakdown in our world? Is He simply catching a quick glimpse of our angst or is He truly focused on us when disappointment and despair invade?

When these questions resound, I am learning to recalibrate what I know is absolutely true. And on opportunities like today, I get my head above the clouds to clear my fuzzy vision about God’s character. I am drawn to King David’s confident words about God’s watchful eye. “You know when I leave and when I get back;
I’m never out of your sight. . . . Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? To be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
you’d find me in a minute—you’re already there waiting! (Psalm 139: 3-10, The Message).

God not only sees us now, but He’s already ahead waiting for us? That’s a mind stretcher, but it settles my doubts about El Roi’s need for His annual eye exam. Today’s flying “on morning wings” reminds me that no matter where we travel or if we hit some turbulence along the way, we will never escape God’s notice.

Before my plane descends, I want to linger above Cloud 9 just a little longer, pondering El Roi’s perfect vision and my need for His observant care in the year ahead. If you’d like to join me, I’ll switch to the middle seat so you can get your own close-up view of the creamy clouds as light as my Mom’s mashed potatoes.

How would you describe God’s eyesight?

Brave and Resilient Tip #129: No matter where you are, you are never out of God’s sight.

 

Let’s Talk

Fear in Our Present Times

Q. Can you talk about how not to walk in fear considering our present times, and how to live with both caution and protection?

A. Let’s Talk! We began talking about fear last week. Your question today is about another layer of fear because of our world situation. Here’s how I am processing that kind of fear.

 I do believe that the Lord is My Shepherd! I daily give Him my path. My bottom line is that I will be OK if He has me in His care. Every day’s news and crises are filtered by my trust in my Shepherd; and I have to process that a lot, because I am a news hound!

But! In spite of the news—good or bad—God’s sovereignty is my hope. There are so many promises that He does hold the world in His hands (despite appearances) and He holds me. Last week we talked about “Coming ‘round the mountain.” This week we’re talking about mountains “slipping into the sea” (verse below). We really CAN feel safe.

We do live in fearful times from a human standpoint, but we also live in times of seeing the miraculous from a spiritual perspective. We hold the key to how we choose to see each day’s news. I call it a double lens: I see humanly but also spiritually. The peace we need to walk in NO FEAR comes with that important second lens.

I just had cataract surgery with an implanted lens. Hmmmm, I “see” a word picture here. We do have the ability to have His peaceful implant daily. That’s our secret weapon!

For Deeper Reflection

Psalm 46:1-3 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.”

2 Corinthians 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses [pulling down of strongholds, like fear].”

Ephesians 6:10-13 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.

You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com.