"The king (David) said to Nathan the prophet, ‘See now I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within curtains.' And Nathan said to the king, ‘Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.'"
II Samuel 7: 2, 3, Amplified Bible
"I Can See Clearly Now"
"The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but has no vision."
(Who was blind and deaf.)
Have I ever not "seen" something even though my sight was 20/20?
"When we keep a diagnostic eye on our soul then we can become familiar with the different, often complex stirrings of our inner life and travel with confidence on the paths that lead to the light."
Henri J. M. Nouwen
"An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it."
James A. Michener
The theologian and teacher, C. S. Lewis told a story about his wife, Joy, who expressed to him one day, that she awoke one morning feeling as if God wanted something of her. Joy told her husband that she felt a "persistent pressure like the nag of a neglected duty." Throughout much of the day she was wondering what it was. C. S. Lewis continued the story by saying, "The moment she (Joy) stopped worrying, the answer came through as plain as a spoken voice. It was ‘I don't want you to do anything. I want to give you something.'…Immediately her heart was peace and delight."
I'd like to ask you, "Have you ever felt there was something weighing on you - yet you couldn't ‘see' what it was?" Maybe you felt you should do something or go somewhere or respond to some need. But you couldn't see clearly what should be done. And you couldn't find or hear anything insightful that gave you clarity.
It was Gordon MacDonald who observed; "We must learn to soundproof the heart against the intruding noises of the public world in order to hear what God has to say." And I want to include the words, "See what God wants us to see."
We find these words played out in the life of David who came home to dwell and was given rest by God. It was during this time of restful communion when David began to get a clear vision of life around him. I find this to be such a critical point for my own world. Clear vision and perceptive hearing are such assets when I am attempting to properly focus my life on my Father's heavenly purpose for me. You may well have found this to be the case in your life, as well!
In our texts today, we're told that when David came home, in a place of rest, clarity came to him in a most interesting way. He called his friend Nathan, the prophet, and said, "I've seen the light. I see things clearly now." This is what rest and communion provided for David. What he saw was that his world was totally out of balance. As he told Nathan, "I live in a home of cedar, while God is relegated to dwelling in a tent." In other words, God's home isn't a permanent dwelling yet the things of this earth that I've acquired are kept in a permanent facility - a house made of cedar. David's clear vision showed him that God had been consigned to the temporary. The spiritual wasn't residing in what was lasting. WOW! How often do we find ourselves forgetting that the eternal is what really matters while we place the spotlight of our lives on all that is fleeting. And then we wonder why we get off track.
In quiet rest and reflection, David saw what was really important and it was that God's presence needed to have a permanent dwelling, not only in a physical building, but in his heart and life.
Frederick Faber, a British rector wrote: "There is hardly ever a complete silence in our soul. God is whispering to us wellnigh incessantly. Whenever the sounds of the world die out in the soul, or sink low, then we hear these whisperings of God. He is always whispering to us, only we do not always hear, because of the noise, hurry and distraction which life causes as it rushes on." I'd like to add that the same hassles of life also obscure our vision to the reality that we regularly place the wrong emphasis on what are the essentials.
I like David's recognition of what was to be priority number one in his world. When he spoke to God's servant Nathan, he said, "See now!" It's as though you and I had said, "I got it!" In the dark no longer, with his perfect spiritual vision glasses on,
David saw life the way you and I want to see it - where God's way and will are preeminent in every moment of every day.
One of my favorite songs, written by Johnny Cash has these words: "I can see clearly now the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way, Gone are the dark clouds that had me down, It's gonna be a bright, bright, bright, bright sun shiny day."
I'll never forget where I was when I heard this song the first time. It was a time in my life when my vision wasn't clear at all. The spiritual for me was dwelling in the temporary and I had elevated the things of this earth to a permanent place in my existence. It took a while for me to climb out of the pit I thought held promise. You may have found yourself in the same situation. However, as David's experience teaches us, heaven's gift of restful communication with a redirected focus on our heavenly Father, is the one and only way for us to be able to say like David did, "I see now!"
"Vision that looks inward becomes duty.
Vision that looks outward becomes aspiration.
Vision that looks upward becomes faith."
"Be still, and know that I am God."
Psalm 46: 10
"Let us then labour for an inward stillness,
an inward stillness and an inward healing
that perfect silence where the
lips and heart are still,
and we no longer entertain our own
imperfect thought and vain opinions,
but God above speaks in us,
and we wait in singleness of heart,
that we may know His will,
and in the silence of our spirit,
that we may do His will,
and do that only…"
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.