One of our great difficulties in life is trying to understand Jesus Christ and relate to Him in terms of time and space. But time and space are only relevant to us as finite beings. God is everywhere, as the psalmist declares: "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?" (Psalm 139:7).
If that's the case, we must conclude that seeing the Lord has to do with our spirit rather than our natural eyes. That's the reason Paul prayed for "the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling . . ." (Ephesians 1:17–18).
We could read through the four Gospels and mentally record how Christ lived, what He did and what He said—and then try to live as if we were using a "how-to" book to change our behavior, build friendships or maintain good conversation. Yet if the eyes of our understanding are not opened, we will never be able to see the risen Christ of glory and be transformed by Him.
Changed from Within
In the Word we see the face of the Lord Jesus Christ, His nature, character and presence. As we meditate on Him in the depths of our heart, the Holy Spirit begins to transform us and change us from within. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."
Our external circumstances may stay the same, but inside—our attitudes, feelings, evaluations and decisions—we are transformed. Our eyes have been opened, and we see our risen Savior. And it's no longer despair and hopelessness, but rather hope and confidence that come from the Lord.
Recognizing Him in the Little Things
One of the most powerful ways to see the Lord on a consistent basis is to recognize God at work in the little things that happen every single day: the email or phone call you receive, a letter or a word of encouragement, a song you hear or something you read.
Perhaps you were driving on the road and switched lanes, only to realize that that change of lanes spared your life from a terrible car accident. The Lord orchestrates the circumstance of our lives with His own hand. We need to develop a habit of seeing the invisible with the heart's eye.
A couple of years ago, my wife, Gisela, was sitting at her desk in our bedroom, writing as she often does, when she felt an urge to get up from her chair and go to the kitchen to get a drink. She walked to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. Suddenly she heard a loud explosion, as if someone had dropped a bomb into our bedroom. She ran back to see what had happened and discovered a large SUV in the middle of our bedroom.
Two teenagers had been driving on the road in front of our house and had lost control of the vehicle. The SUV crashed into our house at full speed, completely demolishing the brick wall and totaling the vehicle. Can you imagine what would have happened if Gisela had been sitting at her desk for just a few minutes longer? It would have been a whole different story.
Always with Us
How wonderful it is to know that the Lord is watching over us. But the question is this: Are we able to see His face in events like these?
What should we do when we feel lost in the dark, when, no matter what we do, we simply can't seem to find the Lord or hear Him? We must remember that whether or not we see Him, He is still with us. We must learn to quiet ourselves and wait, asking the Holy Spirit to open our inner eyes to see Him. When we can't see Him or feel Him, we should deliberately look for Him. We will soon realize He has been right alongside us the whole time, and that will change everything for us.
Often our problem is that, like Elijah, we are trying to see the Lord in the midst of huge events and experiences. But more often than we realize, He will reveal Himself in a still, small voice and in tiny events and encounters.
The one who seeks will find. The one who knocks will have the door opened. Let us not struggle, strive and fight for years in our own strength, when all it takes is just to pause and wait in His presence. Then we will see everything from His perspective.
Keep your eyes and ears open—you will see Him. For He Himself has promised, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). And He always keeps His promises.