The Apostle Paul talks about the fact that we “see through a glass darkly,” (1 Corinthians 13:12). What he means by this is that our knowledge of God is incomplete, shaded by the limitations of our understanding and our imagination. It means we just don’t get it when it comes to the fullness of God.
It is like peering into a dirty store window. As much as we may press our noses against the glass we can only see hazy details of the room in front of us.
And so Christ came to give us light. Christ came to help us see God in a different light.
Light invariably brings a new perspective. I first noticed this when mom and dad used to take us camping. After a day’s journey we would often arrive at our destination in the dark. We’d set up camp and find our way to the shower house in the dark. We’d see things only as far as the reach of our torches (flashlights).
But, in the morning, when the sun rose, we’d see the place quite differently. We’d see our neighbors, we’d find the playground, and we’d find our stuff in the camper. We would see the pathway not only to the shower house but to every other corner of the campground. In the sunlight it was a different place altogether than it had been in the darkness.
And, when the light of Christ is brought to bear on our lives things look different too. We see God more clearly than we did before and, just as the campground did, God looks different in the light of Christ.
And so do we.
In the light of Christ we learn that it is not how we see that is important. Rather, it is how we are seen. That is, how God sees us is more important than how we see God. And what God sees in us is light. God sees the light of Christ in us.
And, God sees it even when we don’t see it in ourselves.
Even on those days when we are burdened with darkness in the form of confusion, doubt, frustration, grief, boredom or a lingering sense of shame about some secret failing, God sees the light of Christ in us.
On the dark days we’re invited to consider the way that God looks at us. We may not feel any different, but our feelings can deceive us. Our feelings often shade the truth in an unhelpful way.
The truth is that it is that darkness itself that creates a longing for the light. Just as the night creates a longing for the dawn, so the trials we endure create a longing for the presence of God.
So be encouraged my friends. It’s not as bad as it seems. God sees you and God knows you and God loves you and God isn’t the least bit concerned about the worrisome feelings that so often undermine your best efforts.
Just walk towards the light.