Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

Your Father Sees In Secret

   One of the many abilities of Almighty God is His night vision. The sweet singer of Israel spoke of this Divine quality in these words,  “If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to You; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with You.” (Psalm 139:11f)

   Now, let me ask you…how does that truth affect you? Does it strike terror in your heart when you think about it? Or does it provide you with comfort? If you are like me your response would probably be, “Well…it depends on what I am doing in the dark, in secret, at the time, doesn’t it?” Fair enough. If we are bent upon evil…if our hearts are set upon it…if we are not interested in resisting it…then we like to weave that web of darkness. We want to go about shielded by the cover of darkness. We are like the poor alcoholic who waits until no one is watching and the liquor store is empty…goes inside, places his order, gets it in a brown paper bag…then he leaves, looking about to see if anyone is paying attention…finds a deserted alley…goes around the dark corner and turns the bottle up, still in the brown bag…and drinks it down in the face of God. Such are our paltry efforts to hide our sin from God.

   But when David speaks of God’s ability to see in the dark, he isn’t trying to scare anyone. Jesus says this, “…pray to your Father Who is in secret. And your Father Who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6b) Listen to the Lord now…the fact that God sees in secret is meant to comfort and inspire all citizens of the heavenly Kingdom. Of course God knows all about our sin. He also knows that our sin doesn’t completely define us, because of His grace, Christ’s blood and our faith. Think about the following words… “You are those who have stayed with Me in My trials” (Luke 22:28). Do you remember who Jesus was talking to then? He was addressing that rag tag group of disciples who so often misunderstood Him…so often acted presumptuously…so often proceeded upon terrible motives…in other words, they were sinners all. In fact, in Luke 22, just before Jesus gives them this high, high praise, they had been arguing over which of them was the greatest. But though there was all this badness in them, Jesus knew that was not all there was to them. He knew there was within them a heart for what He was offering them. He knew that at their core they wanted truth…wanted to be better…wanted to do better…wanted to be there for Him…to serve Him…to glorify Him. No! Sin was not all there was to them. Their sin was not the central truth about them. Jesus knew all their secrets…knew their sinful tendencies. But they were still there with Him, weren’t they? That counted for something. His complete knowledge of them didn’t cause them to feel they must run away to the shadows to escape His searching, critical gaze. They trusted His seeing of them. They knew that He would not only see the dark things of their lives, but His knowledge of them would include taking note of the fact that they were not at peace with their sin. They had some level of desire for better. There was good in them too…maybe it was only a germ…and it’s true that Jesus put it there…but there it was. The Lord could work with that and with them. And He can work with you and me too. Yes, your Father and mine, sees in secret. Don’t be afraid to meet Him there.

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9 thoughts on “Your Father Sees In Secret

  1. This thought can stir so many ideas in my heart. Today what jumped out at me is that – He knows. He knows everything about me … good and bad. I don’t ever have to approach Him feeling like I have to fill in all the background information so that He will understand my present situation.

    I never have to approach Him wondering if He will understand why this particular issue is hurting me so much, or causing my heart so much grief.

    I don’t have to start off by telling Him anything … He already knows every bit of it. There is a popular plaque that says, “A friend is someone that knows all about you but loves you anyway.” Well, I’ve learned that I can never really know a person. Even my best friends have pieces of their lives I don’t know about, or don’t understand. Not that they are trying to hide them from me, but unless I’m present inside their head and heart, every moment of every day how can I know?! Well, I have such a Friend, such a Father, that has been present inside my head and heart for every minute of every day. He knows me … KNOWS me.

    Today I am able to find comfort in that. Because He knows all about me and died for me anyway, loves me anyway, gives me grace anyway, defends me anyway, mediates for me anyway … promises me eternity, anyway.

    Wow … thanks Doug. It’s as if you just introduced to me a new facet of a familiar Friend.

    • oakesclan on said:

      Paige, and the others who have commented here,
      I want to apologize for the lengthy delay in responding to your comments. My schedule has been pretty full lately…but I think I see light at the end of the tunnel and hope to be much more prompt soon. Thank you all for your patience.

      Paige,
      It’s true isn’t it? He’s closer than a friend…closer than a brother…closer than a relative…even a child…even the dearest on earth to me. It’s not that these human relationships aren’t intimate and delightful in their own right. Thank God they are wonderful and provide endless reasons to praise and worship Him. And we must remember that the God Who knows us thoroughly is the very One Who has gifted us with all the worthy loves of our lives. But, as you rightly point out, we are limited in our ability to know another’s heart…to enter their lives…and to fully share their joys or sorrows. But our Father God is not so limited. We stand fully disclosed in His presence and like Adam and Eve in Eden we are not ashamed of our nakedness. He draws us close. Wants us to know He knows all about it. Wants us to cast all our cares…all our impurities…upon Him and just, finally, relax with Him…be comfortable with Him…be at home with our Father Who loves us no matter what.

  2. Email Girl on said:

    I’m wondering if you’ve been snooping around in my head because the words you wrote here were exactly what I needed to read.

    Psalm 139 is my favorite verse in the bible…the entire psalm. It brings me comfort. I think I’ve told you before about the day I found that verse. I was living in another country, not sure I was doing the right thing, alone, crying and begging Him to show me where He was. Then I opened my bible randomly to that page. I sobbed as I read it and knew exactly where He was. That page in my bible is crinkled from all the tears I’ve shed on it through the years. I hold onto that verse in the times I feel alone and like He isn’t there. Psalm 139 should probably be credited for keeping me alive at different times of my life.

    As much as I love that Psalm…the part that has always haunted me is verses 11-12. “If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,’ Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day, Darkness and light are alike to You.” That has always put fear in me. To think that he knows my secret thoughts, my insecurities, my questions…to think that he sees what I am doing ALL of the time…even when I think I’m hiding….its disturbing. I like what you say though…it helps me understand. God is going to love us no matter what it going on in the hiding places of our hearts…because we are His children and He knows what we are capable of and He is the salve that heals those wounds we inflict on ourselves. I like that, it helps me feel less afraid of the dark…and more open to the “light”.

    Something else I thought of when I read your post was about the things I went through as a child…and where He was then. If the dark is light to Him then He was surely with me. That thought brings a little shame at first, the fact that He saw me at such a weak, powerless time of my life…but then I realize that maybe it is times like that that He wants to be closest to me. Under the layer of shame I feel a sense of security. To think that He was with me…maybe holding my hand…maybe wiping away my tears…or holding me in his arms…or binding up my heart, makes me feel…loved. If he is light in the dark then I know in my heart He had to be there with me. I think I can find a way to be ‘ok’ with that. Might even find a way to erase the shame the covers up the good stuff.

    Thank you for the great lesson Doug.

    • oakesclan on said:

      Dear E-mail Girl,
      Wasn’t it lucky that you happened upon Psalm 139 in that far away land when you were feeling so uncertain and alone? Of course, I mean lucky, spelled p-r-o-v-i-d-e-n-c-e. God, in love, left that beautiful song for you to “discover” and be helped by. That’s the kind of Father God we serve. He’s been singing His love to us all through our lives. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to hear His song at certain terrible times which some of His children have endured, including you. And I would not presume to understand any of that. But I think that what you wrote in your last paragraph is full of faithful insight that God has given you. And I pray that you will experience fully that erasing of the shame and discovering and enjoying the good stuff. I believe He wants that for you. So do I. So do all of us who love you. May His strength be yours today!

  3. Gail on said:

    E-mail girl and Cemotosnack – I just read your blogs and they make me cry.
    I hear the struggles you have had and still have (and we all have those days or years, believe me). I appreciate your candor and your sincerity in your life and trying to understand where God meets us if we meet Him (and I don’t know how it all works but he says He is helping us around in the dark also and trying to bring us to the Light).

    I need to get a box of kleenex now for your Blogs just like I do when Doug writes his Blogs about Our God ever loving us and how he sees us as his Children.

    YOU HELP MY HEART THRU WHAT YOU SHARE!!!!

  4. Gail on said:

    I know there is a God Who knows our every move. But He also allows us Mercy and A Great Love because of Jesus having lived here and having shared our problems in the World. Our Flesh is Weak but Our God is Strong.

    I know this probably sounds too simply stated but I do Trust My God to help me thru the problems we have in this Flesh..our “Temporary Insanity.” I cannot help myself by myself. I need a Strong, Loving, Caring God who knows what it is like to live in the flesh on this earth. I have friends who don’t know when the hurting of losing someone they loved on this earth is ever going to stop and when they will ever feel better. Their grief turns to total frustration that sometimes causes them to shout at the top of their voices to the point that their throats become hoarse and sore. They wonder why…if they are really faithful to God…they would be going through this. I have friends who struggle with “what if this” or “what if that.” We often have more questions than answers. We wish we had more wisdom and understanding. But that’s when we realize Who does have the Wisdom and Understanding we need. And we go to Him for help. Sometimes we do get answers and sometimes we may not know until after this life.

    I know as I get older that God knows my secret thoughts and my shortcoming. But there is something about getting Older with God in the Picture that does not Scare as it used to. Because I know he is not a Mean, uncaring God. I know he has told us so many times in so many actions and ways that He Loves Us and Wants to protect us from our fears.

    So my two-cents worth to me and others is stay with Him. As we get closer to the end of our Journey God helps us know more and more that he is the Good Shepherd who is Helping his Sheep know him and rest Safely in His Arms (the Surest Safety and Love we have ever known).

    When I lay me down to Sleep, I Pray my Lord my soul to Keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray my Lord my soul to Take. When I lay down at night to sleep I do rest in the thought that I have tried my best for the day (though not sinlessly) but I feel like I have tried my best that if I live another day or not God will take care of me. I can sleep because of knowing what kind of God I have who Really Loves Me and Others.

    • oakesclan on said:

      I’ve discovered this about lovers…they can much better endure their own pains than the pains and trials of those they love. And this quality, which love produces in them, is what may bring them closer to the heart of God than many other things.
      I will just add this, sister Gail, that on those nights when you lie down and look back over the day and realize that you did not do your best…that, in fact, you could have done much better (an experience that all of us who are trying to follow Jesus have regularly)…that even then, He is keeping you cleansed, saved, close to Him, because our spiritual safe-keeping doesn’t depend on us, but on the Blood of our Sinless Savior. Please be assured of that…even on those evenings when life has been so very difficult and trying.

  5. For a long time I lived trying to hide from God. I was trying to hide because I knew what I was doing was wrong. I knew I had better in me because I had lived better….had been better…had honored Him better. So in effect, I was trying to hide from myself as well I guess. At that point in my life, to hear that He KNEW and saw what I was doing, pushed me to a place I did not to go. I didn’t want to feel the shame and the guilt so I pretended that everything was fine and tried to tell myself that there was nothing wrong with how I was living.

    Finally, with help from a loving, caring friend, I admitted that I was in a pit and the only way I could be saved was to let God rescue me. After that, the fact that God saw in the dark was a comfort. Because He saw what I had been through…from the very start…He knew the pain I was in, the shame I had suffered, the incredibly stupid things I had done. Yet He rescued me anyway. Because of His mercy and grace and His never-ending love for me. Because I belong to Him and with Him.

    I think I am finally realizing that the safest place is with Him…whether in the dark or the light. Whether I think I am doing right or wrong.

    I like what you said about Jesus knowing there was good in the apostles just like He knew there was bad. He sees the good in me too…He knows that I wish it was more. That is good for my heart.

    • oakesclan on said:

      I rejoice with you, Sherry, that the “darkness where God is” is now a thought that gives you comfort, peace and even joy. And isn’t it so good that among the things He knows about us, is what we would be for Him if only we could? What you wish to offer your Father…how you want to be better for Him…how you’d like to more efficiently reflect His beauty…all of this and more…honors Him too!
      I haven’t even met you, my young sister in Christ, but, I too, see good in you. The words that overflow from your heart of faith…the comments of many who’ve spoken of how your life and spirit bless them…the encouragement you have offered an old preacher in Ohio…I just want to say that you are doing good for Christ…you adorn the doctrine about Him. May you feel His pleasure in you today!

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