My grandmother almost died when her last son was born. The baby struggled too (now, 65 years later, he's a pastor). Three days she lay, unconscious; no one could tell if she would live or die. Finally she awoke to see the unshaven, haggard face of my grandfather peering anxiously down at her. 'That's the funniest face I've ever seen,” she teased weakly. You can tell a lot by looking into someone's face. Grandpa didn't communicate his feelings very well, sometimes much to Grandma's frustration. That day he didn't have to. The stubble on his chin, the drawn, sleep-deprived skin, the worried look”"all communicated very well, even to a tired little lady just back from the gates of death.
You can tell a lot by looking into someone's face. My five-month old grandson can't talk but he can communicate. He looks right in your eyes with his dark, shining eyes, and a 24-carat gold smile lighting his face. Why waste time with words if you can speak like that? Sometimes you avoid looking into someone's face. A little boy enters the nightmare zone when he's swiping a cookie from the cookie jar and looks up to see the stern face of his mother watching him.
Have you ever looked into the face of God? It might not have occurred to you that someone like you or me can do that but listen to this, 'My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me ”¦” (Ps. 27, 8, 9, NIV). Now I think 'seeing His face” means that we come into his presence. I know God is omniscient, He's everywhere. But He's not everywhere in the same way. He's in the bar and in the political convention, but He's not present the same way He is when His people get together to worship Him. He's promised to honor with His presence each get-together where at least two or three gather in His Name.
So how do you get into His presence like that? There are a lot of people I'd like to talk to, but I can't get past the door. I've had some excellent advice for George Bush but it's a bit hard to get to him. Important people have tough secretaries to block the way. So how do I get into God's presence? The best way is to look into Jesus' face”"you'll see all you ever need to know in Him. 'For God ”¦ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:6) The only reason we have a right to go into Almighty God's presence is because of the work of His Son, Jesus, on the cross of Calvary. He paid the price for our sins so that the Father could wash them away and we can freely see His face. Those sins had separated us from God. Now, just like an adored child can reach up and touch the face of his father we can 'touch” the face of God.
So what can you read from His visage? I think you'll be surprised how MUCH he loves you and delights to be with you. '”¦for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye”¦” (Zech. 2:8). I think you'll find guidance when you don't know what to do. Sometimes when we're in a group of people my wife can give me a look and I'll know exactly what she wants (the nice thing about looks is that you can pretend you don't know what she means). God guides us with His eyes. When you gaze into His face, you'll see the strength and faithfulness of the ages. 'The God who has never failed” has that fact chiseled into His face. That sparks our faith. And yes, if we're goofing up we'll see a reproachful look. My mother could promise me a spanking without saying a word. We know what pleases Him and if there's a question we just look at His face.
Why don't you try it? Go into His presence and begin thanking Him for what He's done for you. Praise and adore Him for what He is. Just love Him. Soon you'll notice a heavenly smile light up your heart.