I Want To See
"Lord, I want to see," he replied.” Luke 18:41
I love it when your world just kind of collides together like a kaleidoscope of things. Your friend tells you something, your church tells you something, your Bible tells you something, God tells you something. Separately they are all little pieces in jigsaw puzzle fashion or maybe more like a kaleidoscope. They do not make sense, there are bright colors and dark colors, big pieces, and little pieces. These pieces swirl around in your brain swimming in obscurity. The little pieces of information that you are not sure what to do with.
If you put them all together it is kind of like a mosaic or maybe even a stained-glass window. You cannot see through a stained-glass window, it is beautiful, but you cannot see through it. The swirling pieces in your head do not hold much clarity, you cannot see through until they can be linked together, put into some kind of order.
One of the things that came to me was a sentence from a friend of mine, she was reading this devotion about having a window with a new vision. We want God to take the pieces that are already broken, those shards of glass that are jagged and still poking at us causing us to bleed. We all in different ways have had our spirits and souls broken and shattered inside of us. We picture God taking each broken piece of glass and gently placing them masterfully into a stained-glass window. We love the beauty of the window but when we look out the window at the old pieces, we end up re-living every piece we see; we remember where it is from. Like that green piece over there, that was when this happened, or that red little piece, that was when that happened, and we continue to re-live the past. The window is something beautiful and we cling to the promise that God says He takes all things and makes beauty from ashes and we cling to our ashes, we say “Lord take these ashes and make something beautiful”, we long for a stained-glass window.
“…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,” Isaiah 61:3
Is this what Jesus really promised to do? It has come to me through the swirling, I do not think so.
Jesus says He is going to take all things and make them new.
“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,” Isaiah 61:10
God says He will cloth us, in a His robe of righteousness – it will not be our doing, it will be His. Jesus came to make us new not “fixed”, and He will do the work for us.
God never wants to bandaid us, He does not want to make the stained glass window, He does not want to take the broken pieces and try to make something beautiful. He wants to make something new, a beautiful new creation.
I have mulled on this sentence about stained-glass and a new vision these past couple days and I have been asking God, “Lord give me a new window to see through, I want to see.” I do not want to look through the old stuff, the old crap. We are broken people, we are shattered people, we have bits and pieces of us here there and everywhere. When we try to fix ourselves it just gets more broken because it is our own strength, we are trying to fix it with.
I am in a season of darkness; some stuff has come up and it has me re-hashing the past. The past has lots of good and lots of ick, but I cannot seem to get past the ick. It is like looking at the stained-glass window and as I do I seem to simply re-live the green piece and the red piece and maybe right now I have a new orange piece, but it is similar to the red piece and I am finding that I cannot really heal if I keep looking at the past.
How can I change my thinking and my mind to focus on what is ahead if I just keep looking at the old window, with the old pieces?
As I was sitting in church the topic was ‘renewal’, the Pastor said a couple of profound things that hit me but it was at the end of the service, up on the screen in front that God met me with my answer.
There was this backdrop with a purple cross on it. The background was dark, abstract and with a purple cross in the middle and as I stared at the cross the Lord gave me my new window. I do not know how to even put it into words or better yet a description. The diagram below is the best I can come up with, but the vision impacted me so much that I started to tear up because I realized that it was my new window. I realized in an instant that that is the only way I could go forward.
We do not need a stained-glass window; we need a new window.
As I looked at the cross on the screen the cross started to illuminate turning transparent so you could see through the cross. Through the cross I could see the sun, the sky and some rolling meadows. When we look through the cross it becomes our new window, when you look through the cross everything is changed. God promised to make something new, He never promised a bandaid.
When Jesus came to earth, everywhere He went He made something new. He would heal people, He would raise the dead, He would hang out with people who thought they were hopeless and worthless to give them hope and value and meaning.
When you look through the cross you see the newness, when you look through the cross you see Jesus for who He is, The Restorer. When He said to the leprous man, “I am willing, be made clean.” Matthew 8:3 Jesus was giving this man a new life, He healed Him, He made him new.
Jesus says, “I am willing be clean,” that is not just a line for the leprous man, it is a line for you and me.
I challenge you to look through the cross: not around it, not above it, not below it, do not look up at it rather look through it and ask the Lord to change your vision, tell Him you want to “see”.
Ask God to have Jesus vision when you look through the cross, to have a Jesus heart when you look through the cross, to change your eyes to have Jesus eyes when you look through the cross. Do this and my friends, God will make something new happen in you.
When we focus our gaze through the cross, we cease to be those old people we see when we look in the mirror: those broken, hurting, sinful people. Our lives around us may be in pieces, it might even be upside down, but when we look through the cross, we are new. We need not cover ourselves with our old words from our past because we are not those broken people anymore. Through the cross new words give us a hope. Words like: precious, chosen, beloved child, daughter/son of the most High King, dearly loved, friend.
When we look through the cross you see yourself as God sees you: brand new and whole, complete, lacking nothing and that is who we are in Jesus.
On this side of the window, I am in my own power, on this side of the window my strength ebbs, my spirit feels faint, and my soul feels heavy. On the other side of the window through the cross we walk in Jesus’ power. It is light, it is freedom.
It is not hard to change our focus, it is not hard to change our window; turn your chair, turn your body, turn your head. Stop looking out the old window, stop dwelling on the past of the stained-glass pieces, turn your head and say: 'Lord I want to see' and look out the new window. The window of the cross.
I have to admit that my default is to look through the stained glass. It is as if a part of me wants to cling to the old sharp broken pieces that keep hurting me. I literally have to work on turning my head, repositioning my body to have the new vision. It does not come naturally and I have to do it over and over and over in a day, sometimes many times in an hour. But when I do get my eyes focused through the cross, the possibilities are endless, the future has hope and the world looks a whole lot brighter, it is a much better place to be.
God has done the work, we get to choose where we put our focus.
Which one are you focusing on?