“My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.”
As I meditate on God, I’m amazed at how God shows Himself differently to different people. To Paul, He showed His blinding glory; to Elijah, His flames of fire; and to Joseph, His blessed companionship.
And these Bible heroes aren’t unique because of this. God may not come to you in visions of glory like He came to Paul, but He still loves to speak to us in the ways that we can understand Him best. He knows our limitations, and despite His perfection, He gladly lowers Himself to meet us where we are.
My mom sees God as the Almighty Creator. When blue and purple lightning breaks the barrier between earth and sky, she smiles. The wrinkles of fear and stress evaporate from her forehead, and she seems young and happy again: her Maker is stronger than her fears.
“That’s my Dad,” Mom says.
In family devotions, my dad stresses the forgiveness of God regardless of what Bible passage we’re on. I see my same temper make his frame tense and wonder if he’s thinking of his every flaw and imperfection. I don’t ask and he doesn’t tell. But as he stresses that God is our Merciful Savior, his body uncoils and loosens.
Dad smiles as he talks to us, and it’s a genuine smile.
Andrea, my sister, hears God and thinks of white, like the pure dress of a bride, or the untainted snow that drops in late December, or the spotless lambs that were slaughtered for man’s sins. She thinks of white, like the Shekinah glory of God that’s always nearby and ready to listen to her prayers regardless of how high God is. She sees Him as distinct, and yet familiar. The One Person who is perfect, and who will always stand by her.
“It’s crazy how much God loves us,” Andrea says. Her laughing eyes are unusually intense and solemn.
I nod and think of God as King. To me, He shows Himself on the throne, where He’s acknowledged as the rightful ruler and His robe’s train fills the whole temple. The saints’ prayers hang in the air like incense, and He breathes in the sweet prayers with a smile. The golden staircase to God is high, but He still looks down for me.
An angel wipes a coal over my sin-stained robes and suddenly they’re clean again and I see with spiritual eyes how the nations lie beneath God’s feet, and how His enemies will soon be flattened into a footstool for Him. A royal ring shines on His left hand—the one that sealed the Revelation scrolls—and on His right, He holds the scrolls as if to open them in judgment. Holy justice and divine mercy glow on his face, and I kneel as His presence overwhelms me.
“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other,” I say, remembering the psalmist’s words.¹
I always found that Isaiah paints of God’s Kingship compelling, but I’d never realized that this was because of my needs. God uses this passes to fulfill cry for justice without allowing me to wield the iron rod reserved for Him. It satisfies my need for mercy without allowing me to forget His holiness. And it reminds me that He is always willing to purify me for His use.
We’re all flawed, needy creatures, but God knows us and descends to meet us where we are. And one day, in a time beyond time, we won’t see Him through a foggy glass; He’ll gift us Heavenly eyes that help us see Him as He is.
¹ Psalm 85:10, KJV