Where's Waldo?

Bible Reading:
Psalms of Joy and Praise Psalm 122; 124; 133; 134; 135; 136; 138

"Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar" (138:6; c.f. 2 Chron. 16:9; Job 28:24; Ps. 33:13-14; 104:32; Pr. 15:3).

When I think of God sitting on his throne in heaven, looking down upon the earth, I am relieved that he is in control; yet, it sometimes leaves me feeling distant and hidden. The picture that comes to my mind is a super-cosmic "Where's Waldo?" game. What if God loses sight of me among the billions who need him? How can I be sure he is watching over me? If I can get others to nod their approval and give their applause, will God notice me too? Is he impressed with the same things that put me in the human spotlight, or is he looking for something different? "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

"Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly." Jesus modeled what it means to be lowly. His concern was not on what others thought of him, but that they would see and know his Father. "Our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful. If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness" (2 Cor. 4:6-7 Msg). If the spotlight is focused on me, others might miss the brightness of Christ living in me. Am I more concerned with whether they like me, or whether they know God? When I step out of the way and stop worrying so much about what others think of me, God can shine brighter through me.

"The proud he knows from afar," not because God has pulled away from them, but because they have kept him in the shadows of their own spotlight. When we focus on our own needs, desires, successes and failures, his image grows dim. When we turn the spotlight on this Lord of the heavens, however, we discover his light shining right inside of us, in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

As we let his light grow within us, he becomes greater while we become less (Jn. 3:30). Our faces shine with his radiance instead of our shame (Ps. 34:5). Our illusions are exposed and his wondrous truth is revealed. As we lift him up and let him shine, may others see the work of Christ in us and praise our Father in heaven (Mt. 5:16).