Seeing Vaguely

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Cor. 13:12

I remember the first time it hit me. It was one of those things that I should have already realized, something that was easily observable, but had never dawned on me before. After all, I knew a lot, right? I knew most of the answers in Sunday School and Youth group. In fact, I was so far advanced compared to my peers that I pretty much had it all figured out. Ha!

Thankfully, God brought someone along to mention in a passing comment, “You know, the Bible doesn’t tell us everything about God. It only reveals what God wants us to know.” What!?! There is more that I don’t know!? (Let’s be honest, even if the Bible contained everything there is to know about God, I still would NOT know or understand it all).

This meant that all my assumptions had to be reevaluated. My ‘little’  Sunday School story God suddenly became much bigger than I could handle. He became a mystery. He became elusive.

I imagine this may have been how the Israelites felt as they wandered in the wilderness, following the Lord as a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. There was no doubting His presence or His power, yet He had no discernable form. I wonder how many looked intently into that cloud and that fiery pillar hoping to see something more clearly. It is much easier to follow what you can easily discern and understand. Maybe that is one reason the nation continually struggled with idolatry – it is in human nature to want to see clearly, to understand, to know.

But this is not God. God is almighty, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present, and altogether too weighty for us to handle. It is because of His grace that He only reveals to us the bits and pieces that we can swallow, otherwise we would surely die.

As I grow and mature in my relationship with the Lord, I am thankful for those moments when, through His Word, the Holy Spirit allows me to see the faintest passing shadow of Himself through the veil. But how I do yearn for that day when in glory I will see Him face to face! Oh, to know Him more!

Still, what comfort it is to be known by Him, more completely than I even know myself. And what merciful kindness He has given us by revealing even more of Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ! And whoever has seen the Son has seen the Father (John 14:9).

Do you understand the mind of God? If so, your God is too small and of your own making. Can you trust Him even though you see dimly?

We are veiled from God, for our own good, not He who is veiled from us. Just as Moses was hidden in the cleft of the rock as the glory of God passed by, we see dimly and are protected from what we cannot bear in this earthly form.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep on following in the path of uncertainty. To keep seeking after a God who is unsearchable. The truth of His abiding in us and our abiding in Him is difficult to pin down and act upon. But what He has chosen to reveal is enough. And there is more to come!

“This age of ours will one day be the distant past. And the Divine Nature can change the past. Nothing yet is in it’s true form” (from C.S. Lewis’ ‘Til We Have Faces’).


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