The Complete Picture
I am in Dallas this evening – it’s late and I have had a full day. It started out when I arrived at the Indianapolis airport this morning and headed toward the gate. As we were about to board, we were informed that there was a maintenance problem – my scheduled 11:25 a.m. departure took off around 3:00 p.m. and, of course, people were already tired from the wait and having to re-schedule connections, etc. I tried to work during the delay, but the environment was just too distracting and I finally had a little quiet time once we eventually boarded. After we were airborne, I pulled out my headphones and my iPad, getting ready to watch a video podcast from Dallas Theological Seminary, my favorite thing to do when I fly. I know, that probably sounds strange to you, but I really enjoy it. It is my time to get close to God and hear a message from pastors and Christian leaders who visit Dallas’s great seminary.
Anyway, as I was getting ready to choose a podcast, I mistakenly opened the section with all my stored photos. I started to look through the various events, particularly my vacations with Janet. And I was struck by something – the pictures of just me, or just her, seemed somehow empty – incomplete. Even if there was beautiful scenery in the background, or interesting things for the viewer to see, if only one of us was in the picture, it was lacking – as I said, incomplete. But those photos with both of us – I remember so vividly – I can recall where every one of them was taken – whether it was some exotic destination halfway around the world, or a birthday party at our home.
I even remember that when I was asked to choose a picture for this blog site, on the biography page, the picture I chose included Janet. I never thought much about it, until now. But the truth is that she completes me, in a human sense. We have known each other so long, and are so committed to each other, that life for either of us is not complete without the other. In a very real way, she is with me all the time – at least in spirit, if not physically present. And I have every confidence that she would say the same thing about me.
And as I thought about all this, I began to reflect on my relationship with God. In many respects, there are marked similarities to my relationship with Janet. God is always there – spiritually present. He knows me so well that He knows my next move, and my life is incomplete without God. And, let’s not forget that He has known me for a long time, and He is completely committed to me.
Psalm 139:16 tells us, “When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” In other words, God created us, and knew all about us before we were even conceived. Isn’t that incredible? and the psalmist also tells us, in verses 7-10, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” So God says that He is with us all the time!
Wow! The Creator of the universe knows you better than anybody, for He has known you from before you were a twinkle in your mother’s eye; and He is with you every moment of your life. He completes you.
So what does God want from you today? He wants you to be more like Him. And that starts with a sincere desire to act in a manner more consistent with the behavior of Christ. How can we honor that request from God? By inviting Him into our lives, so He can inspect us, helping us to be kind and more authentic in our day to day lives. The psalmist sums it up this way, in verses 23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
So, my encouragement today is to invite God to search your heart. And if there is something that needs to be changed in you, I urge you to let God fix it. Because God already knows your thoughts. And since He has been with you every step of the way, and has created you, He can be trusted – with your eternal life! My prayer for you today is that you get the picture – the complete picture – God loves you!