"The Vision of the Heart"
The Lord Jesus Christ lived more than 90% of His earthly lifetime in complete obscurity, to the degree that His own brothers did not know who He was (John 7:5). His arrival into the world, while now celebrated by millions, was almost completely unknown to the people of His day. Only one event of His childhood is recorded in Scripture. The same can be said of His adult life, other than the three years of public ministry provided by the Gospel records. He died in a place of rejection and disrespect. He rose again with no human eyes beholding the wondrous event. And while enough people saw the risen Christ to corroborate the fact of it (more than five hundred), the number was minuscule compared to the world's population of the times in which He lived (believed by historical demographers to have been about 300 million).
"We walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 7:5).
The same Christ now lives in trusting hearts through the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Moreover, most of what He does still occurs behind the scenes, under the radar, and in a manner seen only to a relatively few. It must be this way in a dispensation wherein God guides our steps by the vision of the heart rather than the eyes. Too many overt and spectacular displays of obvious Divine power would preclude our "walk by faith." Life with the Lord would be much hindered by pomp and circumstance as the power of God's hand would distract us from the character of His heart. The days of such obviously manifested glory will come for the trusting sons and daughters of God in Christ. These are not those days. For now, the Light most often "shineth in darkness" (John 1:5). We do well to expect such quiet revelation as the Christ of the manger and the cross continues His working in ways seen only by the vision of the heart.
I think of the miner when this subject comes to mind. Beautiful jewels displayed in glimmering cases by well dressed salespeople in elegant stores can tempt us to forget those who journey into the belly of the earth to find and bring forth its treasures. If you possess any precious metal or stone, take opportunity sometime to look carefully at it. Who risked his life in a place few would go, in conditions of hardship beyond description, to make possible your possession of that shining and beautiful valuable? The only such item I own, my wedding ring, has adorned my finger for nearly forty years. The gold from which it was formed lay deep in the earth until an unknown miner risked life and limb to bring it to the surface. Who was he? I do not know. But I sometimes think of him. I think of the miner, especially when I ponder the subject at hand, namely, that most of God's work happens under the surface and away from sight, sound, and obvious display of His presence and involvement.
This is God's way in the present dispensation of His grace and truth in the Lord Jesus. We do well to realize that such is the case in both the church at large and in our personal hearts and lives. If we look with our eyes rather than our hearts, we won't think of the miner. And we will miss much of truth, reality, and our Heavenly Father's bestowal of "the unsearchable riches of Christ" that presently shine all the more brightly because they shine in darkness (Ephesians 3:8).
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."
Weekly Memory Verse
"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."