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The God Who Sees

The God Who Sees

The God Who Sees

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3 NIV

When I think of the Lord and the ways in which He has redeemed my life and pursued my heart, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. Looking back on my journey with Him, I’m consistently amazed at the attention to detail that He gave to win my heart.

Patient and steadfast, the pursuit of the Lord for the hearts each of His children is breathtaking.

Reflecting on The Lord’s pursuit of me, I remembered a moment only months before I would completely surrender my life to Him.  And, as He does with most of us, He caught my attention in the most significant of ways.

I lived in Hawaii for 15 years of my life. While work consumed most of my days, I always loved the pockets of time I could steal away to marvel at the grandiose landscape that was my backyard.

On one specific day, I went to meet a couple of friends to swim in a new location I’d never been to before. We swam out for a long time in the beautiful, warm ocean until we could see the color of the water begin to change and the reef ending, signaling the beginning of the deeper waters. Knowing the large sea creatures often found in this area, I decided to stay put by the reef, watching the yellow angel fish swimming beneath me.  

Only a few months before this moment, I tried to start talking to The Lord, beginning a journey that would utterly transform my life. So moved by the beautiful scene below me, I exclaimed, Wow, God, this is amazing! These angel fish are gorgeous! Look at the colors. Thank You for this day. I’m loving every minute of it.

My peaceful bliss ended with a violent tug on my leg. My heart began beating out of my chest as a surge of adrenaline coursed through my body. Without knowing, I had drifted off the reef and over the deep channel.

Waves of panic rushed over me. I was afraid to look toward my leg, but the tugging was fiercer than ever. I finally looked down, petrified to open my eyes. There I saw my friend.

With both of his hands frantically pointing, I looked in the direction of his obsession.

Right in front of me was the biggest whale I’d ever seen.

Frozen in awe, I marveled at the beautiful moment I found myself in. After almost 16 years in Hawaii, never had I been in the water with something so huge. Again, I was prompted to pray, God, You have outdone Yourself today. How incredible. Thank You for scaring me half to death and then making sure this was a day I won’t ever forget. You sure are bigger than I know.

After swimming for hours and being a considerable way offshore, I decided to head back to rest after such a profound encounter. My friends never told me anything about the currents at this new spot, and within fifteen minutes of swimming, I realized I hadn’t really moved much. I knew enough to swim across the current to prevent exhaustion, but this would take hours to swim close enough to the cliffs to try and figure out how to get out. My friends had also neglected to tell me how to exit, and it never occurred to me to ask since we just jumped off the cliff into the water to start. The muscles in my arms were maxed and cramping so much they were seizing into a bent position.

I kept trying to shake my arms out to move toward shore. I was exhausted but knew I had to keep going. Out of desperation, I decided to head for the cliffs nearest me. The waves were crashing over this spot with a ferocious consistency, but I knew waves came in sets, so I tried to swim in when there was a brief lull in the crashing. The current alone slammed me up against the rocks as jagged as glass.

The next set of huge waves came in, jerking me down into the surf and slamming me against the razor-edged rocks over and over again. I could not get my breath, and salt water filled my mouth — choking me.

Help me! I’m going to die here, God. I have no more strength. If You will just get me up on these rocks, I will serve You. I’ll give You my life. Please, help me!

As soon as I said those words in my mind, a huge wave came and propelled me onto the top of the cliff face. I landed, hacking and coughing, shaking from head to toe from complete exhaustion and overcome with the realization that I almost lost my life. I burst into tears and lay still for a long time.

Thank You. Thank You. I know that was You. I would have drowned. I will do whatever You say. Thank You, God.

Within a year from this experience, I would completely surrender my life to Christ, becoming the new creation that Scripture speaks about. And only after this surrender would I be able to look back and see His pursuit of me all along. My hunger to hear His voice, His kindness to rescue me.

I realized after giving my life to the Lord that He saw me long before I saw Him. And yet His gaze and attention towards me today still apprehends my heart like those days from long ago. In trial or triumph, the affection of the Lord and His redemption of my heart, my situation or my season, continues to have the final say. Just like my encounter with the whale, a small gesture in the whole scheme of things, the Lord still seeks to draw our attention today.

Slowly and sometimes suddenly, He vies for our attention, for us to see and understand that we’ve never been out of His reach or outside His gaze.

And the same is still true today. His arm is not too short or His heart too small to reach out and catch us or stoop down and hold us.

We serve a God and love a Savior Who Sees us.

What a treasure.

How has the Lord pursued relationship with you? Reflect on your history with Him and how His love has always found you.

Watch this Video from Joanne

Joanne Moody introduces The God Who Sees

 Written for FaithGateway by Joanne Moody, co-leader with Kathie Lee Gifford of The God Who Sees.

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