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. (1 Cor 13:12, ESV)
Soon after beginning college, I became involved with a ministry called Young Life. I wasn’t sure at the time if I would have any deeper level of involvement beyond the Bible study for freshmen that I was attending. I was enjoying the new friends that I was making though, so I continued trekking across campus each week to meet and study the Word with them. There were a few other freshman girls in that Bible study and soon some of the older girls who were involved with Young Life began taking us under their wing.
One evening, my fellow freshmen and I went out for coffee with some of the older girls. I opened up a bit about a recent breakup that I had gone through and the heartache I was swimming in at the time. One of these sweet friends looked at me and said, “We can only see to the tip of our noses, but God can see the whole picture.” That’s all. A simple sentence on an ordinary night that I’m sure she does not even remember. But it was anything but ordinary to me.
It was as if the Holy Spirit lifted the fog from my thoughts and revealed Himself personally to me in that moment. Walking home later, I was struck by the realization that my vision is limited, but my God is not. My understanding is minuscule, but His is vast. As silly as it may seem, those simple words spoken over me marked a turning point in my life.
They remind me of when Paul 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.” (1 Cor 13:12, ESV). Oh how our vision is dulled, filtered through the brokenness and sin of the only home we have ever known. We know God and have believed His promises, but our mind cannot fathom them fully. We see our circumstances and wonder if God can really work them out for our good. We want to see clearly, but on this side of Heaven our understanding is clouded.
But it will not be this way forever. One day friends, we will see Jesus face to face. Can you even imagine? The heaviness, the fog, and all of the “why Lord’s?” will be lifted. Now we know in part, then we will know fully. Equally as amazing, this verse tells us that on that day, we will know fully, even as we have been fully known. On this side of Heaven, our view of God is limited. We long to see his glory but even Moses was unable to look directly at the Lord, hiding instead in the cleft of a rock as His glory passed by, only able to see His back. But one day, we will be physically in the presence of God the Father and we will know Him with even more intimacy than we can fathom.
Another mind-boggling declaration in this verse is that, although our vision is blurry, God’s most certainly is not and, because of this we are already fully known. Hear that one more time. You are fully known. Not only is our vision limited while God’s is unlimited, but in each and every circumstance of our lives, He knows us fully.
Sitting in a cubicle under the stress of looming deadlines…..He sees you and knows you fully
Fighting for your marriage in a season of trials….He sees you and knows you fully
Struggling to parent little ones because, after all, they don’t come with handbooks…He sees you and knows you fully
Facing uncertainty about your future…he sees you and knows you fully
Left alone on a Friday night while your friends are out together..He sees you and knows you fully
Whatever you face this week, you can rest in the truth that the Creator of all things knows you, sees you, loves you, and holds the bigger picture of your life, even when you cannot see it. Let’s fix our eyes on Heaven, looking forward to the day that our faith will become sight and we will walk out of the fog and into His glorious light. Love to you, friends.