Sometimes the Lord is so obvious it makes it difficult to walk by faith. :):)
We have experienced this in the last few days of grieving about the passing of our dear beagle Sparrow. Things have happened that confirm our Lord's loving presence, involvement, and encouragement to the degree that the introductory statement above burst forth from my grateful heart and smiling lips. "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart" (Psalm 34:18).
Of course, the norm of our present existence in a fallen world involves trusting the faithfulness of God's heart when we cannot see the working of His hand. "We walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7). Much of our lives involves the determination to see with our hearts the Light that "shineth in darkness" (John 1:5). The Spirit of God and the Word of God unite to lead us in response to our Savior's command: "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24). The Lord Jesus Christ Himself lived such a lifetime of walking by faith, viewing with His heart the glories of His Father's working and presence that could not be seen with the eyes. "The Father loveth the Son and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth" (John 5:20). He now leads us accordingly, and while we will not be as perfectly responsive to the Light of God as was the Lord Jesus, we can grow in our spiritual capacity to see wonders that lay hidden to our natural senses, but not to our heart. "I will behold Thy face in righteousness" (Psalm 17:15).
But then… but then sometimes our Heavenly Father makes Himself pretty obvious. We see Light in the light, particularly in times when we present our hurting hearts to "the God of all comfort" (II Corinthians 1:3). Our tears seem to clarify our vision. The wounds of our hearts open new portals into which the glory of God shines. Our hurts serve as the milieu of His help. We still walk by faith, but as we trust Him in our challenges, our loving Savior meets us in ways we may not experience at other times. God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). Our torn hearts beckon His tender heart, which rushes to bestow comforts and confirmations of the ancient, but abiding promise: "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee" (Psalm 43:2).
I often think of the Apostle Paul and Silas in a Philippian jail, their bodies bleeding, their freedom taken away, their feet shackeled, and their ministry seemingly ended (Acts 17:22-24). Strangely, however, they did something that seems absurd in such conditions and circumstances. "At midnight, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God" (Acts 17:25). Of course, I understand the praying. In times of trouble, God's trusting children do a lot of that. However, the singing always captures my attention. Why did they sing? I can only think of one answer: somehow the Lord met them in their pain and imprisonment to the degree that their hearts burst forth in doxology rather than despair. They had to sing, in response to the "very present help" who met them. He will meet us no less as we present our hurting hearts to Him, and yet another ancient promise of God's Word will ring in our hearts as our Lord makes Himself obvious…
"God my maker… giveth songs in the night."
Weekly Memory Verse
And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
(I Timothy 1:14)