Where is the light when all you see is clouds upon the sky? Where is the sun when all you see is hidden, dark, inside? When all that you would want to see in beautiful array is out of reach and ever gone, forever far away? You only have Gehazi’s eyes1 and fear doth rule your day.
Indeed, child, look with the eyes of the prophet, and fear shall flee away.
Have you been looking and hoping for something that has refused to show its face? Why are your eyes not on Jesus, the Bringer of all grace?
We strive for so many useless things that cannot bring us to Heaven! There is but that one goal, and material cannot get you there. We hope for a new job, a new car, a new home. These can help in this age, but they cannot take you into the next.
Almost 50 years ago a legendary science fiction series took us to a place that, according to the episode’s title, was known as The City on the Edge of Forever. In that place there was a gateway that could allow you to go back into time to correct a wrong that had been done. There, if you were very careful, and diligent to take infinite detail into account, then maybe—just maybe, mind you—you could correct that wrong. But there is always a cost.
Even such a place, though, cannot take you beyond that which begins to be. It cannot help you with eternal things.
No car, no job, no home—no starship—ever could. They are for here, they are for now, they are for this moment; they are not for all time. They never could be, for that is not what they are designed to be.
How many of us wish to be eternally happy, eternally joyful, eternally without care of any kind! But that is not where we are meant to be.
We are not meant to be lol-about, latté-sipping, self-interested louts. We are meant to care. We are built for self-sacrifice. We are designed to see others—no matter how low, or wretched, or foul they may be—as more important than ourselves.
“Where are you getting that?” you may ask.
Why, from the Scriptures, of course. Indeed, let me take it from the very same source that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ—and those who tested Him—quoted when asked about it in that day, the Septuagint: και αγαπησεις κυριον τον θεον σου εξ ολης της καρδιας σου και εξ ολης της ψυχης σου και εξ ολης της δυναμεως σου2 and και ουκ εκδικαται σου η χειρ και ου μηνιεις τοις υιοις του λαου σου και αγαπησεις τον πλησιον σου ως σεαυτον εγω ειμι κυριος3. Note, in particular, in both passages, the operative term being αγαπησεις, the future, active, indicative, second-person singular verb form of αγαπη, self-sacrificial love.
That means you sacrifice yourself for them.
The meaning of life is not selfishness, or greed, or lusting (after power, or anything else). The true meaning of life is αγαπη. Some may ask you, “If there is a God, why is there so much evil; why are there so many poor, hurting, suffering people? If God really existed and was all-good and all-powerful then surely He would never allow such things to exist!”
Your answer, to give them, my friend, is simply this: “If He did not, then you could never know the true meaning of life.”
At this point, they—likely very derisively—will ask, “And what is that?”
To which your simple reply is “αγαπη”.
Don’t volunteer an explanation; let them ask.
If they do not, walk away. If they do, let the lesson begin.
Be certain, though, that you also learn it yourself. I have long experience with the fact that self-interest creeps in at the most inopportune times. Be on your guard against it; be on your guard against yourself; be on your guard against your “rights”; be on your guard against anything that elevates you above the other.
Following the Broadway of self-interest will lead you far, far, far away from God. It is an easy path, and wide, traveled by many as they beat the dirt down into a foul asphalt of death and wickedness and sin and despair as they march hand in hand, inexorably, to hell.
Do not fall in with them, but you fall in with Christ. Put aside all your self-interests! Stop seeing with Gehazi’s eyes1, and see with the eyes of God!
Is it not God who knows all of your faults? Is it not God who knows your weaknesses? Is it not God who knows your sin? Is it not God who designed and built and therefore knows your heart—and therefore knows your needs—even down to the very final detail?
Why, then, would you cast His heart away? Why, then, would you seek a darker day? Do you not trust He knows your needs?
He supplies them every day—even to the light of day.
The devil has a clever way to blind you to your needs each day. He shows you things your flesh desires to turn your heart away from what you need each day and, thus, leads you astray.
You say that God has promised you, and you won’t turn away from what you see as Heaven’s light, but is the darkest day.
Put all your needs away.
Put all your needs away!
Give them to Christ each day. For when the darkness circles in He is the brightest day.
Put all your needs away!
If you really trust in Him, then give to Him each pain.
Keep not a thing away.
Give all your pains away!
Your loneliness, your deep regrets, things you wish you could say.
Give all your griefs away!
No matter what you did or said He is your light each day, and all the sorrows you have caused will soon dissolve away!
Give all sorrows away!
“There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins, and sinners, placed beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains!”4
All you have ever needed to do to have your fill from the fount of every blessing5 is to give yourself away.
Stop clinging to yourself and start clinging to Christ! You cannot hold on to both.
Give yourself away in order to cling to Christ!
When you stop clinging to your own hopes, wishes, and dreams, you begin to see reality, and that reality is this: You are not your own.
You have been bought with a price—an incredible, infinite price!
This is why there is no other way for the price you owe to be paid: Only infinity can match infinity.
How did you come to be in the situation of having an infinite price on your head? God is infinite.
Your sin has offended the infinite God. The price you have incurred is, therefore, also infinite. It is a price you cannot pay.
Not in 10,000 times 10,000 lifetimes could you ever hope to pay. It is an infinite price and you are not infinite. It is a price you cannot pay. Ever!
What, then, shall we say? What, then, shall you do, but give yourself away?
“But there is a question, then,” you say: “How has this price been paid?”
I am so tempted to break into hymnody, now, but I must also give myself away!
The very One who commands you to give yourself away gave Himself away to wash your sins away.
The פלא, the יועץ, the אל גבור, the אביעד, the שׂר־שׁלום, has come down from Heaven to us to give Himself away—for us6.
That is what has happened. That is how your price is paid. He of infinite worth has given Himself away to pay to save that one of no worth at all.
If you doubt me, go, and look upon the cross. Look upon the cross and see the price He paid for thee.
How, then, can you look into the eyes of those you see as worthless and not give yourself for them, when God has given Himself for you, who, in earthly eyes are of no value to Him at all?
Cast all your fears away! Look with the eyes of the Prophet and give yourself away.
What beauty can be said when you’ve touched the Sacred Head and all your sins are washed and gone away?
What part of you can hide when you have God inside and all your dark is lost and gone away?
Where are those clouded skies when you have Heaven’s eyes and all your sorrows healed and tears all dried? Think of all you’d miss if you should still insist to use Gehazi’s eyes1!
12 Kings 6:17