Anna used to play a game on her iPod. It would show an extreme closeup picture of an object, and she had to correctly guess what the object was.
Most of them were easy for her, but every now and then, she’d get stumped and come running to me, asking for the answer. Usually I couldn’t tell any better than she could. Of course, once the game revealed the answer, it was totally obvious. Like, how could we have missed that?
My life gets like that sometimes.
I was walking Leo the other morning and my mind was racing with all of the things. Even now, I can’t say what exactly was weighing me down, but let’s face it. Life is really hard sometimes. It’s weighty. The world is a weighty place.
I wish I could flit and float above it like a winter fairy, but bitter cold and cloudy days and sick kids and messy houses start to take a toll on even the most optimistic heart. (And I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a natural optimist.) Add in actual, real life problems, and it’s a stew to say the least.
While I walked, I tried to focus my mind on God – tried to lift my eyes – tried to carry my burdened heart to His feet. I mostly just found myself complaining a prayer. I’m so tired. Please just fix this. I don’t want to think about it anymore.
The song “Transfiguration” by Hillsong Worship came up on my playlist, and I picked out the words as I picked up Leo’s poop.
Because life is glamorous like that, and spirituality isn’t mystic – it’s REAL.
Holy is the Lord revealed before my eyes
And my burdened heart can scarcely take it in
As I behold your beauty with unworthy eyes
The only song my soul can find to sing
Is Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah my King
“Transfiguration” – Hillsong Worship
I thought about the times I’ve been in God’s felt presence – really seen Him as best anyone can this side of Heaven.
There are three times in my life that stand out, and every time, I was completely and utterly undone. Because, all at once, I see HIM – not as a figure, but as a known presence enveloped in light – and I know in the core of my being that He is completely other and I am completely human. His presence becomes an all-consuming reality, and everything else feels like a shadow in comparison. I am at once aware of how minuscule I am, but also how loved I am – how unworthy I am, but of how welcomed I am. And then the “I” disappears completely and HE is. Worthy. Holy. Sovereign.
These moments don’t last long – I really don’t think I could function in this world if they lasted longer. But every time, my perspective has been radically shifted.
I catch a glimpse of the infinite beyond this time and place.
I see the breath that is this lifetime, and my life here on earth is violently shoved into perspective.
I see the significance, yes! The purpose and intention behind my having been born and lived. But the details matter less – the pointy annoyances feel less pointy. The weights feel less weighty – I’m aware that the sovereign God before me isn’t worried or panic-stricken or frantic. He knows how the story will end. He’s zoomed way out. He sees the whole picture.
Not that He doesn’t care for the “minor details” of our lives. He cares about music venues and babysitters and pet allergies, because He knows those things concern us. But He also holds eternity in mind, so… there’s that.
That morning, the song reminded me of these things – that as I lift my eyes, the things of earth grow strangely dim, and I’m wrapped in the comfort of sovereign grace.
I don’t know if you’ve ever felt the tangible presence of God, or “seen” Him. I’d imagine each of us interpret the experience differently. I’m genuinely interested in your experiences, though. How did your perspective change?
Praying for the pointy things in your life to feel less pointy today, friends. ❤
A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.