by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” Luke 12:34.
A precipice. Highly situated and slick. An emboldened thought reaches the peak, holds still, silent and stoic as winds wail against it until the inevitable becomes reality and, dislodged, the downward slide commences. The view gained for that fleeting moment encompassed a great expanse. The thought is relegated once again to the dark crevice from which it emerged. Its view withheld. Again.
Why are glimpses all we see? Why can we not hold onto the spark of understanding that shimmers in the corners of the mind? What substance or spirit makes up those resolute winds whose sole purpose seem to be to untether, untie and dismount any mind’s grasp of a clear view? Why is obfuscation their goal and our blindness their objective?
I think I know their reasoning. I believe I understand, but it is they that are blind, or the master who controls them. Their purpose is to keep the light of God from reaching us. Their goal is to cover His glory from our hearts. What they fail to understand or refuse to submit to is the profound truth that our Father is in all places …even in the dark.
The unrestricted view from the lofty peak is currently not sustainable. We are Moses unable to look at God’s face, but it does not follow that there is nothing of Him to see. It does not mean He hides from us. We must learn, though, the art and craft, the skill of finding God in the dark.
To ask “why glimpses are all we see?” reveals the fallen condition of my heart, desiring perfection in an imperfect realm. My heart remembers a time before it held conscious memory and longs for that completeness to be reinvigorated. To ask why ignores the beauty of the glimpse and misses the blessing held within it.
Life without glimpses and precipices would render our existence vapid and vacant. Those fleeting moments help define our unique perspectives and make up our exquisite differences. Complaining that the view is limited, even fickle, is wallowing in the blackness of the crevice as if the pinnacle was never reached and the vista never taken in. What good does a glimpse do if its wonder is lost and forgotten as quickly as the darkness returns?
Our lives cannot be lived on those slick peaks, though we desire it. We long for our Father’s beauty to be all we see and know and experience, and someday we will live this. To hold and cherish the brief moments of something other-worldly, as if His face passed before our eyes, is to live in the shelter of His grace. Here. Now. Today.
I think of Mary, the mother of our Lord, who “treasured” in her heart the things that happened, what she saw, and words she heard. I believe those treasures were her reserves for the darker days to come, because those moments of joy and wonder were sure to pass away. Those tightly held memories were her glimpses where she saw beyond the circumstances of her life and looked into the beauty of the Father. And she treasured those.
We, too, can treasure our glimpses. We can hide them in our hearts and they become our reserves when the joys and wonders pass away. We can learn to see God in the dark in many ways: to remember and remind; to be faithful with the seeds of hope He has given us and plant them in the fecund soil of our souls; to bury those treasures in the deepest wells of our hearts where they will be kept safe from the wailing winds. We can cherish the glimpse.
Instead of asking “Why are glimpses all we see?” a more grateful and wiser heart would ask in wonder, “Why does He give them to us?” The sweet simplicity of the answer is: because He is kind. He knows the darkness we must endure while we walk this life, but He is full of grace, and generously gives us bright and wonderful sparks of the “more” we long for. He fills our hearts with the treasures of what is in store for us.
Those glimpses are our treasures. Treasure them as the gift they are meant to be.
Educated as a teacher, Sarah taught school for nearly 20 years. As a young woman, she lived in China amid the rice paddies and water buffalo near Changsha, and then later taught English in Costa Rica for four years and raised her two sons.
Sarah is married for the second time, the mother of 2 boys and the step-mother to 3 more. She and her husband, David, work together in their agency The Van Diest Literary Agency. Her full name is Sarah Ruth Gerke Van Diest. She’s 5’5” and cuts her hair when stress overtakes her.
She is a freelance editor (including a New York Times and USA Today bestseller), blogger (The Write Conversation) and writer for hire. Her first book releases with NavPress in 2018.