Looking straight ahead, your eyes are fixed upon the cross. You are reminded of your most wonderful promises given by your Father. The undeserving salvation, plenteous mercy for the chief of sinners, the perfect love bestowed and experienced, given by the Holy of holies, the King of kings, the Lord of lords. You marvel. How can such a God love me? I am so blessed. All praise, glory and honour belong to Him alone…
The heavens rumble, the winds blow. Dark clouds roll in one after another and drizzles start to become showers and thunders of rain. Where is the cross? Your vision of the cross is blurred as you look through the misty window, searching for the long dazed cross. Rain is on the windowpane. I cannot see what is up ahead! Where is the cross? You wipe your spectacles and windowpane. It is not working. Where is the cross? You panic. Why can I not see it anymore?
You drop all things and run into the car. You say to yourself, I’m going to look for the cross. You try to turn the car engine on – it is not working. You turn the key multiple times trying to start the car. It still does not work. In frustration you slam on the accelerator and lash out a cry. You think to yourself, why is everything not working? I’m going to run, you said to yourself.
Convinced, you dash out of the car and into the rain.
As soon as you stepped out of the covers, the rain lashes at you. The further you went, the greater intensity the rain fell on you. It feels like needles piercing through the epidermis layer of your skin. You are completely drenched. The strokes on your back weigh on you every step you take towards the cross, somewhere further up, up there where you think it is.
As you hunch your way up, you peek around through your water-covered lenses. Blur images of houses, cars and buildings. Squinting, you see people are safe in their abodes. They are sitting. They are happy! They… Look, they have their eyes on other things. You think to yourself, shouldn’t we always set our eyes upon the cross? Your pace slows down as you start to wonder. Yes, only upon the cross… You look at others. Wow, you think to yourself, it seems good to be living luxuriously under shelter rather than to brave the rain. They can do whatever they want! You stop outside a house to look at the expressions of the people in there. They smirk and scorn at you, how foolish it is to brave the rain. Wait, I’m not foolish! I don’t have to be in the rain! I can turn back to my home too. What about the cr…? Small steps back turn to big strides. Before you know it, you are sprinting back home.
But… What… what about the…, the…, cross? What about the cross? What about remembering God’s sweet promises? What about praising God, the One you said whom all praise, glory
and honour belong to? Are you going to forget everything else just to sit in the comforts of your chair? Just because the wind blew and the clouds covered the cross, that you no longer can see it? Do you think the Lord still does not know what you are doing if you cannot see Him? And you can do whatever you want?
In our frailty we often do that. When afflictions hit us, and cover our clear sight of God’s love towards us, we often fall. In our short sightedness, we think that God does not love us anymore because He has sent us difficulties in our life. We have sorrow, pain, and tears. But, is not what God said we would have in our life? Jesus had them all, to the greatest depths in fact. What makes us think that our life will be a bed of roses and that we may snooze in the comfy chair all day, if our Elder Brother went through all that? Have you not read Psalms 34:19 – “Many are the afflictions of the righteous:”? Or did you forget it? Or chose to ignore and think that this is not the right path God has set out for you? Take heed, do not deceive yourself.
Through the afflictions we often look for reasons and evidences of His love towards us too. We dig frantically with our own means. We try to reason with our human understanding. But remember, beloved, we may not measure God’s love with the circumstances of our lives. What kind of a gospel do you believe in if you think that God only loves those whose life is smooth sailing, rich and famous? Measure God’s love for us through Christ alone. If God is perfect and eternal, so is His love towards us. And it truly is towards us.
Fix your eyes upon God, not on ourselves. Our life is as a pot, moulded by our wise Potter. What say shall we have in how our life should be? Empty yourselves, and fill our heart with the Lord. Be humble and see the Lord’s counsel. This is His story, His world, His ways. We are in this world for His glory’s sake. We do not need to know every specific reason for His doings. He does not have to report to us why He determines every little detail in our lives. If God is glorified by our lives, what else do we want? Did you not sing, ‘I have decided to follow Jesus’ since young?
If you are unhappy with your life, there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey Him. Commit to His ways for you, humbly and cheerfully. The Lord will show you in His time that His ways are right. And they are always right.
You kept on going though the storm rages and others ridicule you. You are confident and persuaded to look for the cross that you love. I want to see it again, with my eyes, you say. I love the cross for there is my hope. Then you recall a verse. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Not seen? Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and all the other heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 did not see their Messiah with their physical eyes. But yet they did that which was pleasing to God in earnest expectation for the Saviour. They kept their eyes fixed upon Him, spiritually. In faith, they looked forward and hoped for the Messiah. They continued on in their sojourn believing that God’s Word is true.
Your footsteps start to slow down and ultimately come to a stop. You pick up speed and head towards home. You found yourself sprinting back home! Not because you did not want others to see you braving the rain and seeking to find God in the storm, but because your spiritual eyes are now opened. The Word has became clearer and well defined such that you have gained understanding. You understand that though the weather causes you to lose sight of the cross, and your physical eyes cannot see God in front of you, the cross is still there. God still loves you, His elect. The clouds blocking the cross do not mean that the cross is gone. It is just hidden from clear direct sight. Now you may head home with all joy and hope knowing that it is still there, and you can see it by faith.
Written by: Noelene Wong | Issue 42