We were sitting on the second floor of Caffe Nero and watching as people strolled on past. The German Market had just opened up in City Centre and it was a Friday night so there were plenty of activity down below.
I was leaning forward in my seat to get a closer look at the streets when my friend said
“This must be a taste of how it is for God looking down on us from Heaven. I wonder what He thinks when He looks at me or at you sometimes.”
When she said this I felt a huge wave of humility wash over me. God doesn’t just look down on us from His throne for the sake of entertainment or scorning. He gazes upon us in love and compassion, in Fatherly affection of an eternal proportion.
We have done absolutely nothing to warrant His attention and yet He lavishes it on us with such abundance and overflow.
The longer I looked out of the window, the more I began to do some heart-searching. What did God see when He looked at me?
Did He look at me and see a servant? A doubting child? A warrior?
What was it that He saw in me? Then it hit me with the intensity of freshly brewed coffee spilling on my lap and about had me leaping out of my seat.
He doesn’t see me in my flawed state. He doesn’t see me in my commendable state. He sees me in my redeemed state. He sees the Holy Spirit residing in me, the blood of Christ covering me, and the anointing of the Father cradling me.
I am His, and my Savior is mine.
Psalm 116: 1-2; 5-7 reads as following:
1 I love the Lord, because He hears My voice and my supplications. 2 Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.
5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate. 6 The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. 7 Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
Pride is a fault, my friends. But so is self-condemnation. We are called to live in neither of these places, but rather to occupy a space of love and acceptance in Jesus Christ. To find ourselves in who He is rather than what the world tells us we are.
Our souls can rest in the knowledge that the Lord hears the deepest cries of our hearts and He has compassion on us. He doesn’t just listen when we talk to Him, but He inclines His ear.
“To be favorably disposed towards.” That is the definition of incline. If we are in His flock, His favor follows us as we walk through this life and live for Him.
This isn’t because we deserve any of His grace because we don’t. I certainly know that I don’t.
I also feel the Lord pressing on my spirit right now to remind you and myself not to despise the low places, my friend. Sometimes we feel like the people on the pavement but with the knowledge of someone watching from a second story.
We see other people getting their breakthroughs. We see others getting married. We watch others getting blessed above and beyond. Meanwhile, we feel as though we are stuck in the valley.
When will our time come? We ask the Lord night after night.
When will this happen for me?
But last night at church I was reminded by Pastor Sid that we are to share the same mindset of Jesus Christ. We are to find our lives by losing them, by sacrificing our best to sow someone else’s inheritance.
When we stop seeing our time in the valley as a punishment or as a space without favor, we will realize all of the potential these seasons have. We can help others and celebrate with them when God moves mightily in their lives.
We can either sink into a space of selfishness or we can use this time of utter humility to turn our eyes from ourselves and onto what God is doing in the lives of others.
It’s not easy. At all. But comfort never has and never will equal growth.
We have to step out of what we know and into what God has prepared for us. Walk in faith and in confidence. Walk in the knowledge of redemption and love.
You may be in the valley today, but the Good Shepherd promises never to leave nor forsake you. Only be strong and courageous.