I love days like this. Slivers of sunlight lying across my floor. The icicles hanging from the eaves turned to diamonds and crystal. The snow coating the pine tree outside my window twinkling tiny metallic sparkles. Sierra, still cozy in her fleece pajamas, finds those slivers of sunlight and dances in them, turning around and around to see the shadows and light playing together. All I can think is, “Baby, may you always dance in the light of God’s grace.”
We had a friend over last night, and he was reminding us of this. He reminded us of the story of Peter walking on the water, and how, when he looked at Jesus, he was fine. It was when he looked down that he sank. I often feel that this story is an illustration of my own life. Time and time again I find myself looking at my sin, looking at the corruption of this world and the sin and suffering that wracks and twists it, and I sink. I am discouraged and begin to ask questions too deep for me. Then Jesus yanks me out again, stands me on the waves, and says, “Gaze on me.” And I walk, enamored by His beauty. Our friend was saying that our problem is that we want to look at ourselves and make ourselves more beautiful (or at least know exactly where we are ugly). Meanwhile, sanctification is the Holy Spirit’s job, not ours. Our sin is a cause to look to Christ, not more at ourselves!
Here is another illustration he used: There is this moment that comes every once in a while in the world of sports where the player becomes forgetful of himself, purely lost, wrapped up in the game and the goal. Therefore brothers, let us run with endurance this race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith – who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the Father. Let us forget ourselves. Let us be lost in the game, in the prize, in the Person that awaits us at the finish line.
I look out my window. The light is shining on the snow, and the dirty, ragged parts are illuminated. But I am not enamoured with these. I look up into a blue sky and feel the joy and freedom of living. I gaze on the way the sun makes everything sparkle. I am filled with joy because the sun is not hidden from me.
And neither is God’s face.