You may remember the song from Brandon Heath, “Give Me Your Eyes.” It’s about seeing others through the eyes of Christ–truly seeing them. And loving them with the love and compassion of Christ.
I’ve often wondered what it must feel like to God, to see His children suffer. It must break His heart. It breaks mine, and I’ve caught but a glimpse of what God sees every day.
Last night my husband and I spent the evening at Taking it to the Streets in downtown Omaha. This small, hot, dingy building is becoming one of our favorite Friday night hang-outs. The moment you walk in, you sense God’s presence–His deep and initiating love. And for the most part, the place is filled with smiling faces uttering words of gratitude.
Veiled faces hiding broken hearts. But every once in a while, a smile falters and tears flow as one of the precious men and women share their heart and fears.
And in a flash, I’m broken, listening to them talk about sleeping on the streets, going without food, unsure where their next meal might come from.
When this happens, I feel hopeless. What can I offer them, besides a plate of food and a gentle smile? Feeling a bit discouraged, I took this to God in prayer. I told Him I wanted to do more, to see real, long-term, positive change. Hope.
He gave me Psalm 18, and I’ve been holding tight to it, reading it, praying it. (I’ll post the verses that speak to me, but you can read the entire passage here.) Will you meditate on it with me? (Emphasis, in parentheses, mine.)
I love you, Lord, my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
(God hears our every cry.)
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
(Many of the people at Taking it to the Streets are held in bondage by drugs and alcohol. This is their enemy–the enemy that seeks to destroy them. But God is bigger, God is stronger, and He can reach down and pull them out. This passage reminds me we are always, always in a spiritual battle. Satan is out to destroy us and he will use anything he can to hold us in bondage and lead us to despair. But God is bigger. Christ has already won the victory. How did Christ conquer Satan? Through love–His death on the cross. Agape love is a powerful demonstration of the life-changing truth of the gospel.)
30 As for God, his way is perfect:
(God’s got a plan and is always working out His plan. His plan is perfect. Our role is to follow Him in full surrender. He’ll take care of the rest.)
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.
(Surrounded by such brokenness, it’s easy to assume the situation’s hopeless, but God’s word says differently. All I can see is that next step–serving a meal, offering a smile or a prayer, initiating a conversation–but God sees the mountain top. My job is not to analyze ever twist and turn of the journey but instead, to keep walking, trusting in the God who sustains, loves, and intervenes.)
Perhaps you can relate. Is there a task or ministry God has placed before you that seems utterly hopeless? Keep walking, friend! In God’s strength you can scale any wall, and He will make a wide path for your feet.
Or maybe you are running from an enemy–sin, addictions, attacks from others, joblessness. God sees you. He hears your cries for help. He is your solid rock who arms you with strength and has given you the shield of victory.
So keep walking, friend, because God has the road all mapped out.