Gain heart focus by praying Scripture out loud:
God, You know me. What a thought! You know when I sit down and when I stand up. You know every thought I have. You search out my path and know when I lie down. You are familiar with all that I do. Even before I speak a word, You know it’s in my head. You are in front of me and behind me. Lay Your hand on me today. (Adapted from Psalm 139:1–24)
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.
I made a difficult but intentional choice when I was in college. To some, it might seem unbelievably easy, but for me it was not.
I started to look in the mirror.
Yep, you read that right. Some people are born with perfect, zit-free skin. I was not. All through high school, I joined the battle of the skin along with 17 million others, armed with my benzoyl peroxide and an obnoxious amount of CoverGirl. My emotions were disabled by the skin on my face. I hated my physical features and could not bear the pain of looking in a mirror. I avoided my reflection like Lady Gaga avoids subtlety and sophistication.
But then I started spending time alone with the Lord, soaking in His words. I never specifically asked Him to heal my wounded self-image, but one day I found myself looking back at me in the bathroom mirror—and it wasn’t painful.
I looked without recoiling and turning away or insulting myself. Getting lost in His intimacy through daily prayer time enabled me to look past my flaws and gaze into what He was creating me to be.
And I could dare to believe that it was beautiful.
Psalm 17:8 finds the psalmist pleading, “Keep me as the apple of your eye.” The apple of the eye is the tiny reflection of yourself that you can see in another person’s pupil. To see it, you have to be close. Intimate. To see yourself as God does, you have to get lost in His intimacy.
For years I have been romanced by the verses I’m about to share with you, but only recently have I seen the beauty of the progression in them. These are my favorite verses in the Song of Songs:
My beloved is mine, and I am his. (2:16)
In the early days of their relationship, the Maiden gives her heart only after she is certain he will first give his. She doesn’t yet feel completely safe. Will he love her the way she hopes to be loved by him? She’s not sure she can trust him. Oh, but she wants to. And eventually she does. Later we find her saying:
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. (6:3)
Notice the change in the order of her words. Now she has become less self-focused and gives herself first, knowing that he will follow. The intimacy is progressing. She feels safer, and has come to a place where she feels the steady evenness of their love. But that will soon change as we see in the final verse:
I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me. (7:10)
In this final statement, she speaks only of what she sees in his gaze: that she is the apple of his eye. That’s intimacy.
The progression toward oneness with God leaves you absent of yourself. Lost in Him.
As you move more fully into what God sees and what He desires, you’ll no longer be concerned with what you lack or how you’ve failed. As you walk with Him day by day, you will come to see yourself through His truths.
Afraid that you can’t get past your past?
Getting lost in intimacy with God will assure your heart that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Fearful that you can’t overcome a sinful habit?
Intimacy with God will bring you to believe that your “old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin” (Romans 6:6–7).
Think the circumstances of your life are hopeless?
Intimacy with God will bring you to know that “the Lord will fulfill his purpose for [you]; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever” (Psalm 138:8).
I could go on and on with the beautiful ways your perspective is changed when you learn to see through His eyes. Oh, He might not rearrange your mind by the end of this ten days, but eventually you’ll be so familiar with His view of you that your heart will be entwined in His vision for your life.
It was like that for Corrie ten Boom, one of the world’s most valiant survivors. Her ugly past included a Nazi concentration camp. It included abuse. The death of her sister and beloved father. Her body had been brutalized and weakened. Certainly she had a few “spots” and “wrinkles.”
But by the time she was nearly ninety, she’d become so intimate with Jesus that her life was just an ongoing intimate conversation with Him.
Pain gripped her left arm.
In agony Corrie grasped her chest with wrinkled hands. Blood ceased to flow. The delicate pink skin in her face turned ash-gray.
“Heeelllllp…,” she gasped, with barely enough breath to push the words out.
Would this be how her life ended? After surviving the atrocities of a concentration camp and then tramping through the world as a homeless woman to teach people to forgive their enemies, would she die here in a comfortable, cozy guest bedroom?
So she asked.
Corrie ten Boom held an intimate conversation about what to do before anyone ever arrived at her bedside. She was speaking to the only Groom she’d ever known: Jesus.
By the time her traveling ministry partner arrived at her side, a decision already had been made. Action had been taken. She’d asked her host to send for just the kind of help God’s Spirit told her she needed.
“God has told me my time is not yet up. I have sent for a minister to pray that I may be healed,” said Corrie, though grimacing in pain, her face still gray.
Minutes later a pastor arrived. He asked God to heal her. Slowly, color returned to her face. Corrie whispered, “Thank You, Lord, for taking away the pain.”
Then she asked everyone to leave, explaining that she needed rest to do the Lord’s work in the morning.
The next morning at eight o’clock she was speaking to thousands, inviting them to come to Him. The One she knew so intimately.
I marvel at this story. So recognizable was God’s voice to Corrie ten Boom that she did not doubt she’d heard Him correctly. The value of her physical body had diminished. The fact that she was both old and ill meant little to her. Rather than listening fearfully to the clamor of her failing heart, she centered her gaze on her Savior. And she had no doubt about what He saw.
I long to hear God’s voice so clearly and respond with such faith. To see myself and my life through His eyes.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). When we truly get lost in intimacy with Him, we become one with Him. This is the intimacy that Jesus has always longed for (John 17:22). Our thoughts become His thoughts. And we have no doubt about what He sees.
I’m thankful we can grow into this progression. I certainly haven’t yet arrived.
But I hope to one day.
Write Your Story
Today I just want you to write out your frustrations and commit to being patient in this love relationship. Are you in it for the long haul? Will you wait for Him as He has waited for you? Thank Him for the promise that this intimacy will grow, and one day, you will see yourself through His eyes. You can leave your comments below, or write in a journal or your personal copy of Get Lost.
O Lord , thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord , thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
Psalms 139:1-5 KJV
Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,
Psalms 17:8 KJV
Help From Above
He hath never failed thee yet. Never will His love forget. – Amy Wilson Carmichael
I remember having trouble with long division. In class things seemed fine, but homework was hard. So over time I developed an “I’m stuck” routine. I would pick up my book, stomp toward our small kitchen and slump down at the table that had just been cleared from dinner. When my mother turned around from the last of the dishes, I would groan out one sad, single word: “Help.”
Do you remember asking someone to help you with homework? Can you recall a time when you learned something new? Whether it was long division or piano fingering, most of us have had people in our lives who were there, ready and willing to help until suddenly, silently they would leave us on our own. And there we would be (amazingly!) doing it all by ourselves. Somehow, they knew when to let go.
Few of us ever asked our parents or caregivers to let go; better to have them walk us through and give us constant, direct aid. But in letting go, parents gave us something better: They gave us pride. They gave us a sense of personal accomplishment. And they gave us the empowerment that comes only from meeting the world on our own.
Are you worried that God isn’t next to you for the long division? Are there challenges you don’t think you can meet on your own? Fear not. God is here to help. God will show the way and teach you all you need to know. You can always expect help from above. But you can also expect that God alone knows best when it is time to let go, even if you don’t feel ready.
Loving God, help me remember that you know me best. You know when to help and when to let go.
In the mist of me packing to move, I’ve forgot who was my friend. It wasn’t until I was feeling my worst that I just opened up and prayed like I’ve never prayed before. God does answer only if you be still and listen.