Exodus 3:6 “At this Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.”
That’s the verse that struck me during service recently. The pastor was talking about Moses and the burning bush; and about God and who He is. I had encountered this verse once before, but hadn’t really gotten back to it to study. Then —
God showed me a vision of me looking into a mirror; and in the mirror was a burning bush. Then, I was hiding my face and was afraid of the reflection in the mirror.
Often, we can’t see past our past and/or further than our present reality because we are afraid to look at God in us. Our feelings of guilt, condemnation and shame keep us in that fear because we feel unworthy to have God in us/with us. Sometimes we don’t look for God in us because we know we’d find Him and then we’d have to look at Him or take responsibility for not looking at Him, and then acting on what we see-it kind of ties in with the parable of the talents — God’s going to ask us not what we had or didn’t have, but what did we do with what we did have. But we may not want to have to act on seeing God in us because we’re afraid of failure and the heartbreak that comes with it.
Very sadly, sometimes we’re afraid to look at God in us because we believe and fear that He might look and be just like the one/ones that wounded us so grievously. We have terrifying and unreal or inaccurate images and expectations of whom and what God really is. God is love. And, although love is sometimes painful, love does not harm-not intentionally, anyway.
But sometimes love gets ripped apart. Love gets spat upon, beaten up, battered, bruised, ridiculed and mocked. Love hurts! Love sometimes is sheer agony and excruciatingly painful. That’s one of the things Jesus was showing us in His death on the cross. We don’t want to be in pain so we don’t want to see love in us-or we pretend not to want to see it; to be it. This is especially true if it’s all that we’ve experienced in regard to love.
The bible also tells us that perfect love casts out fear. One of the hardest things I had to do after years of abuse, destruction and self destruction, was to learn to look into a mirror. I couldn’t see past the things I’d heard about myself, the things I’d seen in myself-the things I had been and was. I didn’t feel worthy to see God in me. It took time to build trust, to build my relationship with God. Only in experiencing a personal relationship with Him is that trust built and does faith rise up in us. Faith then empowers us to seek, to look for God in us and His love gives us the courage to look at God in us. The story of Zacheus comes to mind again. He was a small man, so he climbed the tree so that he could see Jesus. Jesus spotted him in that tree. Jesus knew Zacheus was looking for him; wanted to see him. Jesus immediately acknowledged him and engaged him in conversation, letting him know, “I want to spend time with you; I want to be with you.” It’s the same with us. Jesus said, “Seek and you will find.” When we look for God in us-which starts with “Jesus, come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior”- actually, He’s already there; we just have to accept/ believe and receive Him- we will find Him; and He’ll help us to see Him.
Scripture reference from NIV -Internation Bible Society