“Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord; that he looked down from his holy height; from heaven the Lord looked at the earth.” Psalm 102:18-19
Blind spots. We hear about them in more than one context. In the study of the human eye, students learn about a normal physiologic blind spot in our visual field. The eye is very much like a camera. Each eye has a lens that focuses light as it passes through. This light is then absorbed by cells called photoreceptors located in the retina which is much like an imaging sensor chip of a digital camera. However, there is a very small portion right where the optic nerve enters the eye, where there are no photoreceptors. Technically, without cells to absorb light, an image cannot be detected. But as we are fearfully and wonderfully made with two eyes whose visual fields overlap and fabulous compensatory mechanisms in our brain, this blind spot in and of itself does not limit our daily functioning, unless a disease process sets in.
On the road, we encounter blind spots, too. As drivers we use extra caution when turning or switching lanes because there is that zone somewhere behind and almost next to us that is obscured from our vision, even with properly positioned side and rear-view mirrors. Newer cars have installed additional warning mechanisms in sync with the turning signals, such as beeping sounds and tiny flashing red lights on the side mirrors, to warn the driver when there’s a vehicle within the blind spot in the direction he or she is moving to. Accidents can quickly happen when we forget or ignore these blind spots.
Psalm 33:13-15 “The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.”
Unlike us, our God does not have a single blind spot. He is Perfect and he sees EVERYTHING. Given our human limitations, it may be hard to believe this and we could at times become doubtful. Those moments usually come when we don’t understand why things are the way they are. I’m sure we’ve asked God our own questions such as God, don’t you see that the wicked are winning? God, don’t you see that we have been dealt with unjustly? God can’t you see that I’m running out of time and options? God, haven’t you seen all the sacrifice we’ve made over the years? God, didn’t you see that we tried to do our best and it still did not work? God, do you really see my suffering? God, do you see…. me?
The book of Genesis tells us about Hagar, an Egyptian servant and surrogate mother, who fled to the wilderness from her jealous mistress, Sarai wife of Abram, because Sarai was treating her harshly. Hagar found herself alone, pregnant, tired, with not a lot of options and most likely scared to death, when an angel of God appeared and promised a blessing on her child, naming him Ishmael (meaning “God hears”). I love her response. So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” Genesis 16:13
As a child of God I can have the confidence that never will I be in a place or situation that God does not see. Whether on the bed of illness or on board a trans-Atlantic flight, whether buried in paperwork or buried in laundry, whether caring for patients or caring for family, I know he watches over me. God’s watchful eyes do not deviate from his people. He sees the sacrifices made by his servants in the mission field, the persecution of his faithful followers in prison cells, the suffering of his children standing up for righteousness in a hostile world. He is the God who sees and looks after us.
The question is are we looking at him? Or are we looking at something else to look after us and meet our needs? Sometimes God has to take us to our own wilderness, away from everything familiar and secure, in order for us to know who he is, and understand that not for a moment does he cease to be God. He sees, he cares, he exercises his sovereign will, both merciful and just. All the time, he is faithful. As the psalmist proclaimed “He will not let your foot be moved. He who keeps you will not slumber.” Psalm 121:3 It is his love that takes us to our wilderness – our place of vulnerability where our own defenses can’t stand, so that we will not put our trust in ourselves or anything else apart from him. It is beautiful how his love always leads us to humility and deeper intimacy.
Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.
We shouldn’t miss the fact that after Hagar’s encounter with God in the wilderness, she went back to Abram and Sarai. God did not give her a new home, a new master or a new job. But God gave her a new heart and a hope that she didn’t have before she met God face to face. The truth is, God does not necessarily take us out of our painful position but his grace always sustains us. Sometimes his word to us in the wilderness of prayer is that we ought to remain right where we are. For His greater gift to each of us is a heart that is totally confident in him alone, knowing that he indeed looks after us wherever he places us.
Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
There are times when nothing holds the heart but a long, long look at Calvary. How very small anything that we are allowed to endure seems beside that Cross. -Amy Carmichael