Pastor's Blog

The God Who Sees

I was pleased to read “Grumpy Monkey” to Mrs. Guichard’s 1st Grade class last Tuesday. “Grumpy Monkey” is about ‘Jim Panzee’. On Jim’s grumpy day the sun is too bright, the sky is too blue and the bananas are too sweet. All the other animals hover over Jim with a jungle full of things he ought to do, should do, wouldn’t-it-be-fun to do so that he is no longer grumpy. All of which only makes Jim more grumpy.

The book finishes with Jim getting a little less grumpy. So the “Grumpy Monkey” is not a primer on bad behavior.

I noticed something as I read through “Grumpy Monkey”. The little children paid attention. For a brief moment some of those little children were Jim Panzee having their very own grumpy day. They didn’t know why they felt what they felt but they knew it didn’t feel good. They knew being told a hundred different ways not to feel grumpy didn’t work.

It was this moment of silent, empathetic connection between child and story that moved me. They were being seen. A grown up was reading a story describing how they felt. For a brief moment, I was the grown up who saw them. What a privilege for me!

Hagar called upon the God Who Sees. She had been shabbily treated, particularly so by the man of faith, Abram.

“O Abram, how passive you are in this moment! Staggering is your descent from the starlit peak of covenant faith to the dark valley of tepid acquiescence. Hagar deserved better from you, not the least your willingness to confront Sarai’s jealousy and harshness. But you didn’t see Hagar.”

God did. God comes to Hagar. God sees her and promises Hagar a future. She is grateful: “I have seen Him who looks after me.”

You are not overlooked. God sees you. He knows. Praise Him! Praise Him forever!


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The Covenant Through Faith

Think … essential. A computer won’t run without a processor. A body won’t live without a heart. Every system has one essential component. Without a processor the computer becomes a doorstop. Absent a heart, the body dies.

Yet I take the computer processor for granted. Answering emails, doing research or editing videos, the processor silently multitasks, not drawing attention to itself.

I could monitor the rhythmic thumping of my heart. Yet I don’t stop every five minutes to place fingers on wrist. Reliable sources tell me I’ll definitely know if my heart stops. That is, I’ll know until I don’t know.  Anything. At all.

Faith is … essential. Absent faith a life with God simply stops. Such a life, spiritually, ceases to be. Yet because of faith I believe God. By faith I believe.

By faith I see Jesus not only as a man but as my Savior. By faith I have forgiveness. By faith God’s Word shapes my will and transforms my mind. By faith I pray, believing prayer matters. By faith my past is behind me and my future is assured. By faith I long for heaven.

Abraham is the father of all who live by faith.

By faith he believed his descendants would be as uncountable as the stars in heaven and numerous as the grains of dust upon the earth. By faith Abraham made the radical leap to believe in resurrection after death.

Abraham’s faith was ultimately forward-looking. Yes, like us, Abraham could see God’s hand shaping his past. But he did not live his life looking over his shoulder. Abraham lived believing in a future he couldn’t see, expecting blessings he would never fully enjoy. Yet, one foot in front of the other, Abraham walked by faith into eternity with God.

“Lord, give us such a faith!”


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