When you leave a room for a moment, a lot of things can happen when you’re a parent of young children, but when you leave a room for an extended period of time….say, to take a shower…chaos has the potential to erupt.
This was the case for me and my sweet, comical, angelic toddler the other day. When I returned from my shower, I found his little body standing on my dresser, hands smeared with Jasmine Vanilla lotion, gleefully sharing his perfumed treasure with…my mirror.
In layered coats.
Mortified (and okay, I smirked a bit through my disbelieving eyes), I asked him what he was doing. My son, who has a very wide vocabulary, would only respond with, “My House!” I have no clue what he was doing or what he was trying to get me to understand; I could only make guesses as he continued to make my once reflective mirror appear opaque, all the while dancing with great animation while exclaiming, “My House! My House!”
As I picked him up and turned away to begin the cleanup process, it occurred to me what Paul must have been talking about in I Corinthians 13:12 where he says,
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,
even as I have been fully known.”
I’ve learned so much over the years, especially the last few, about Jesus, about redemption, about His love for me, about what it means to be covered in grace, but, it doesn’t matter how much I learn, how many “ah ha” moments I have, or how many truths I discover and am able to put on, there’s countless more that I don’t know. The knowledge of God, the mysteries of His nature, and the beauties of His character are altogether unsearchable. I could give my life to studying every nuance I could find and still leave an immeasurable number of “stones unturned.”
His vastness is inconceivable.
Despite His unreachable knowledge, there’s still so much that we can humanly know and “grow in” with His wisdom and through the teaching of His Spirit, but it’s all as if looking through that lotion-covered mirror.
We can’t quite fully make it out.
Things don’t line up and some of what we see is distorted.
Disease racks people we love. Children die. Close friends move far away. Pain exists. Marriages crumble. Families fail. We feel abandoned. We simply don’t understand.
Just like I couldn’t understand my 2 year old’s exclamations and his crazy hand gestures at the glass, we can’t make sense of all our questions. There’s just so much about our life, about our world, and about God that we can’t make fit.
Some glorious day we will be “face to face”. We will know. And perhaps even more beautifully, we will be fully known. We will know ourselves and we will see how the pieces fit.
As wonderfully comforting as that is, I have a theory that our biggest gain in knowledge won’t be about finding out all the answers to our countless “why’s” from life on earth, but I think instead that experiencing the fullness of being “face to face” with the true lover of our souls will be enough. When we can fully know the depth and breadth and width of Jesus’ heart for us, we will be able to perfectly trust and, suddenly, all the answers that seemed so significantly all-consuming, will become trivial because we will know the One thing that matters. The Only thing that matters; and we will know Him “face to face.”
Do I think that we will suddenly know all the mysteries of the Almighty God when we see Him? Not at all, we are still created beings after all, but I think we will know much more than we do now, and what we will find out is that it fits. That there was a plan and that He can be trusted, even when we couldn’t see through our lotion-caked mirrors.
So, take heart, we may only have a dimly lit glass to see through, but we do know the One who holds our hearts, and He is completely trustworthy. Our trust in this life will grow in the same way it will grow exponentially in Heaven, through knowing Him more and more. Make the time to seek His heart, to search His word, and to learn His character. He promises that when we seek Him with our whole hearts, He will be found by us, even if it’s only through a darkened glass that He unveils piece by precious piece.
Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me,
and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me
when you search for Me with all your heart.
‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD.
– Jeremiah 29:12-14