If you were to go into our house and look on the walls, you would see pictures of our family. You would find pictures of our wedding, family outings and those pictures would document our lives together. But those pictures would only be a glimpse into our lives. It would only capture moments, not the whole picture.
I think we do this with God. When we’re feeling sad or things aren’t going our way, we see God as angry or distant. Maybe you see God as the pushover grandfather who doesn’t get angry and never punishes you for eating candy before dinner. Both are incorrect snapshots, but we tend to hang on to those “polaroids” and use them as absolutes. But these are glimpses of God’s character, not the whole picture of who He is.
Our wedding was quite the spectacle. We had a ton of attendants each (there were like 25 people on the platform) and the sanctuary was packed with guests. It was an event. I look at the picture of us that day…we looked 12 years old. But the pictures don’t do it justice. In fact we hired a photographer that subcontracted the job to someone else. We discovered that the night before the wedding. We laugh about it now, but at the time it was not very funny. We wanted the best pictures to document this monumental day. That didn’t happen. It was a disaster. But when we think about it now, the pictures are only a glimpse into the day; a picture couldn’t take the place of being there. You had to experience it to really fully understand the moment. I remember every moment. A lot of people video their weddings now and I think that’s great, but I don’t need a video to recall the day my life changed. I experienced it. It’s burned into my heart.
So here’s the takeaway…don’t just settle for a glimpse of God. Get close, walk with and experience Him. See the whole picture not just a snapshot.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 (NIV)
Matt Hastings lives with his wife Keri and their five children in Tullahoma, Tennessee. He is the pastor of the Estill Springs Church of the Nazarene. [Editor’s Note: Matt has graciously allowed us to republish his weekly email devotionals on our site for our readers.]