There was this one time when I was asked to visit a friend of mine who was in hospital. Let me clarify what I mean by ‘in hospital’. He was actually in the hospital’s locked ward. He’d had a psychotic episode and been sectioned. So I went to visit him, and I sat with him in the secure unit. I was out of my depth, which is where I spend a lot of my time. He asked me to read to him, from the Psalms. So that’s what I did. That’s all I did. For half an hour I just sat and read from the Psalms while he wept beside me. Then I went home to my family. Read more
Sometimes seeing isn’t believing. There will be people that look successful and content, but aren’t. There will be marriages that look happy, but aren’t. There will be people who look as though they are faithful and enjoying a close relationship with God, but aren’t. Your eyes can deceive you.
At times, though, we deceive ourselves, and maybe what other people see is the truth. I’m thinking primarily about how faithful or not we imagine God to have been to us. Sometimes we wonder if He is keeping His end of the bargain; if He’s providing for us or if He is with us in our troubles. Does He even care for us at all?
So here’s my challenge. We know how it looks to us and how we feel about it, but how does it look to other people? Take a step outside of yourself for a moment. When other people look at you and your life, will they say that God is providing and caring for you just fine? God does do His part, and other people can sometimes see that better than we see it ourselves. I suspect that much of our uncertainty is because what we’re really thinking is, “God isn’t doing things the way that I want Him to do them.” It’s like that old truism – most people are very happy to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity. So, being objective for a second, stop thinking about how it feels to you and ask yourself what it looks like to other people?