Then Jesus made it plain to them,
“Lazarus is dead.
And for you sake, I’m glad I wasn’t there,
because now you have another opportunity
to see who I am
so that you will learn to trust in me.
Come, let’s go and see him.”
(The Passion Translation)
Opportunities to see who He is.
So I can learn to trust Him more.
Those words touch something of the eternal within me, which is beyond yet somehow present to this life, a desire relentlessly wandering my soul desperately seeking satisfaction. Something in the center of my being reacts. It is a pleasant aching, at the same time comforting and discomforting.
Opportunities to know Him more intimately come in the strangest of places. The context in the above quoted passage is the death of a deeply loved friend. Peter had the opportunity in the midst of his own betraying behavior, Levi while sitting in the tax collector’s booth cheating his fellow countrymen, the adulterous woman while brought for the stones of judgment. And, according to Corrie Ten Boom, He can become known and trusted in the midst of a Nazi death camp. Opportunities. To see who He is. To learn to trust Him more.
Not all opportunities are such dire circumstances. The occasion presents itself in a glorious sunset, a cool, gentle rain, or the smile of child; in the pounding waves of a Pacific beach, hiking a densely forested trail, or any number of spectacular settings God has created for our pleasure. The revelation of who He is comes in unexpected friendship, unwarranted favor, and undeserved love. He is everywhere and in everything.
There is no lack of opportunity to see Him, only lack of eyes to see. I pray for the grace to notice, a keenness of soul, a curious mind, an observant heart, a willing spirit. The occasions present themselves in the course of every day life, in the routine of daily existence. But they must be noticed, and then seized.
I have come to the conclusion I will never find in this life the full satisfaction of heart that I seek. I have experienced tastes and caught glimpses of what my soul longs for. But never the fullness. I believe my capacity for knowing and trusting has, is, and will increase. But the fullness…the ultimate satisfaction that always seems just out of reach will, I think, stay just out of reach. Perhaps so I will keep reaching.
I seem to have made an uneasy peace with that, a begrudging peace, but peace nevertheless. I am never fully satisfied. No matter my experience of Him, I am always left with a longing for more. It is never enough. That being said, I am no less thankful for the seeing and the knowing. They are an incomplete yet incomparable gift. They are a blessing beyond measure. And yet…
“As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?” Ps. 42:1-2 NLT