“When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.’” (Psalm 27:8 NASB)
For most of the last fifteen years, we’ve had a dog. It began when my daughter asked for a dog for her eighth birthday. After researching various breeds and their dispositions we decided on a Golden Retriever.
My daughter immediately fell in love with Breezy, pledging her undying affection and promising to feed, brush, water and walk her new charge every day.
In time I learned there were two things Breezy loved more than anything: affectionate attention (especially petting) and doggie biscuits.
Understand, this is my dog’s miracle.
When I’d arrive home from work Breezy was ecstatic. In fact, she’d wag her tail so hard that her whole body would bend in two. (I always wondered how she could do that and still keep all four feet on the floor.) What I eventually realized was that she was not so much happy to see me as she was to see my hand: The hand that opened the pantry door, reached into a box, and provided a doggie biscuit.
One evening my daughter was at the kitchen table doing her homework. Breezy comes to me for attention. I’m petting her, she’s really happy, smiling (yes, smiling), tail going, mopping up the dust bunnies on my floor. Then my daughter says, “Hey mom, watch this.” She gets up from the table and opens the pantry door.
At the sound of the turning doorknob, Breezy’s expression changes a bit, but she’s still sitting there, tail is still going, albeit a bit slower. When the squeaky hinges verified it was the nob of the pantry door, her head turns and her entire body begins to lean in the direction of the pantry (she couldn’t see the pantry where she was sitting). When she heard my daughter’s hand fumbling in the biscuit box – she was gone!
She was gone. My loving admirer was gone. As soon as she realized she might get something she wanted, she was gone.
I am reminded that I need to be a seeker of God’s face, His heart before I seek His hand. Before I seek Him for what He can do for me – for the things I want or miracles I hope to see – I need to seek His presence.
As a parent, I love seeing my children smile. I enjoy being able to bless them with things they want. But I also covet a loving relationship with them, a relationship based not on what I can do for them, but on the love we have for each other.
So it is with our heavenly Father. He finds deep pleasure in blessing us, in answering our prayers, in seeing our smiles. But even more, He takes joy in the intimate, personal relationship He has with each one of us. A relationship built on love and trust – with or without the miracle.
Father, help me to love You, not just the blessings and miracles that come from Your hand. Change my heart Lord, that I would seek Your face before I seek Your hand.
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