By faith we understand that the worlds [during the successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible.
Hebrews 11:3 AMPC
Can an omniscient God be spontaneous? I don’t know. But it’s one of the many questions I’ve pondered about God. Take the verse above. Everything we see was made from what we cannot see. Maybe that refers to spiritual principles. Maybe quantum mechanics is getting a shout out. Maybe the very breath of God is so potent with life that any thought He has that’s given syllabic form and sound and sent out of His mouth simply bursts into existence. Maybe it’s all of these and so much more. Believe it or not, this seemingly random stream of “What if…” is part of my gazing at the Lord.
Gazing Isn’t Creepy
I always believed that gazing at the Lord was a kind of clinical adoration involving an unblinking stare and some sort of Gregorian chant for focused worship. And who knows, that might be the cat’s meow for some believer out there, but it really didn’t work for me. I despaired at finding the act of gazing at the Lord – purposely fixing my eyes upon Jesus – kind of creepy. I don’t like being stared at; it makes me uncomfortable. So how do I stare at God without it being weird and uncomfortable? I just couldn’t seem to grasp what this act of gazing entailed. Then God gave me a picture through my love of stories.
When I love a story, I live in it for a while. I ask questions about the story’s world and wonder about the answers. I imagine the faces and voices and mannerisms of the characters. I create melodies for the songs and a rhythm for the poetry. I immerse myself in the story I love and invest my heart in it—in short, I gaze at it.
Gazing is Cherishing
The understanding of what it is to gaze at the Lord may have been a no-brainer for most of the people reading this, but it was a gift to me. I still had a very solemn, stiff approach to the Lord in this respect and I didn’t know what to do about it. My questions were undignified. And what if my ponderings were insulting? I was so worried about disrespecting God that I closed off part of my heart to Him. I made gazing a law and then was surprised when it bored and crushed me.
Gazing at the Lord is as easy as breathing when I stop worrying that I’m too much for God to handle. I love Him! I love the life God gave me. I love the world, the marvelous creation that He set my story in, and I love to ponder His mysterious and confounding ways. I have so many questions about God and a limitless supply of wonder at who He is and how He thinks and the way He loves us all. Gazing at the Lord can be solemn, but it can also be whimsical and funny and sad and scary and comforting. The act of gazing is as multi-faceted as the One at whom I gaze. And it’s wonderful!
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Philippians 4:8 NKJV
My oh my! This blog is so intense!!
So much so that at times I even feel overwhelmed!
Overwhelmed yes, but pleasantly so!
I will linger here awhile. The dishes can wait…
Jennifer… if the things He has made are wonderful… how much more those found in the Wonder of the Son? I found you today submerged in Wonder… and therefore Wonderful.
Love to the Wonder-ful Body of this Christ.
Wow!!! I love being wowed by God, especially through His children! Thank you Jennifer, for giving us evidence of things unseen through your faithful insight…it truly builds my faith!
Jennifer, i love your blog and the beautiful description of first how you “live in a story you love” and then transfer into describing the wonder of loving your own life. I have struggled with gazing at the LORD so this is especially dear to me as encouragement and then this scripture in Philippians 4, as I saw He is the only one worthy of meditation.