Where Are You Looking?

The world is swirling.  Christmas brings its usual demands with gifting, cooking, family and friend gatherings. But then there is undue illness knocking people around, natural disaster rebuilding, Aleppo reports wiping me out, and the political climate still pinging.
I got up in the middle night to just settle my mind so that I could focus on the most important thing, that is, the presence of God. That’s the whole point of Christmas anyway, right?
God with us.
Anyway as I’ve been mulling over the conversations that He and I had in the wee hours. A revelation from a few years ago came to mind and I knew that the two are connected.
I was at the beach several years ago seeking solace in the middle of a trying time. Lots of relational difficulties, lots of unknowns. What I did not know as I was crying out to the Lord on those walks along the shore, was that I was getting ready to going through one of the most difficult seasons of my life. The revelation carried me through this season, but I find it also has keys for where I am right now. Perhaps for you also.
I was worshiping and calling out to the Lord about his goodness and how I wanted more of His presence. I wanted a clearer eye to see my life and circumstances from a different perspective.
The Spirit directed me to look up.
A huge rainbow arched right over where I was on the shoreline. I stood in wonder, just looking at the beauty. I think it was my first rainbow at the beach and I was in pure awe.
And then my attention was pulled away by a couple fighting. I took my eyes off the rainbow and focused on the yelling, the angry faces, the senseless energy.  As they stormed away from each other, I went back to the rainbow. But it was gone.
“Oh Lord,” I said “I’m so sorry. You gave me this beautiful rainbow at the beach and I got caught up in their fight.”
And the Lord said, “Human drama always distracts from My glory. Always be looking for My glory.”
Then, in His kindness, the rainbow reappeared.
Let me see if I can unpack the former word and this morning’s word.
Before dawn, as I was rattling off my list of concerns before the King of kings— work, house buyings and sellings, college issues, ministry needs and future plans, family and friend tensions, Christmas! for Heaven’s sake—He pressed me to focus on His face. Once again, He instructed me to seek His presence instead of resolutions or answers or understanding of each one of these situations. Later this morning, He reminded me of this rainbow revelation about human drama versus God’s glory.
Then came the final puzzle piece as Holy Spirit nudged me toward the star and the wisemen.
Think of their journey. There were many circumstances and reasons for them to get distracted. So many threats and temptations for them to forget what they were doing and why they what they were doing it. Like us, there must have been many earthly reasons to stop them from their heavenly pursuit.
But they kept their eyes on the star. They kept their hearts set on the promise. They kept walking toward the presence of the newborn King.
I pray for the same clear eye and steadfast heart for you. And for me.
I pray that we will keep looking up so that we might see the shining face of the One who holds all things together. Let human drama, in all its various forms, be overshadowed by His Glory.
May we keep going after God until we come to rest in His presence.
Merry Christmas.

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