Beholding God

There are many evenings I walk down the same brick street. It’s only a few blocks long, but what it lacks in length it makes up for in charm. The sleepy thoroughfare features a hodgepodge of historic brick homes, tree covered bungalows, and sprawling ranches with super-sized front yards. It’s the kind of place that feels alive at night—not with people, but with massive old trees watching your every step and the occasional beady eyes of an opossum waddling from yard to yard.

When you’ve been through an area many times, you get to know it very well. This is a place like that for me. In fact, I’m so familiar with the street that I’ve memorized the location of nearly every tripping hazard—each bump and awkward brick that could quickly steal my pride. And yet, despite my hundreds of trips down the same path, tonight I noticed something new. A lighthouse. A 9-foot replica lighthouse standing prominently in someone’s backyard. Part sculpture and part mini golf obstacle, the edifice both surprised me and brought a smile to my face. Of course someone has a giant lighthouse replica in their Iowa backyard.


With every passing year, this feels more like my experience with reading the scriptures. There are some days when I read the Bible and it feels familiar and comforting with a touch of habitual. It can be a beloved-yet-dry sacred rhythm. Other days I read and it all feels new, surprising, and maybe even confounding. These days are Lighthouse Days. You notice something in the text that you’ve never seen before. Perhaps you’ve seen it with your eyes before, but never truly beheld its presence.

Once you realize that the way down God’s path holds wisdom, tranquility, and wonder, you begin to proactively look for how God is revealing Himself in every moment—not just as you read your Bible. You begin to expect His presence and power to be revealed as you look. This is a very good mindset to have when we approach God. We aren’t coming for entertainment or advancement, we’re coming for communion with God. He reveals himself through various lighthouses in our lives—often things that have been present and yet escaped our notice. He is multifaceted and his glory manifests itself in a million ways small and large. It takes more than a few strolls down the path to appreciate them all.

“But as it is written,
What no eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no human heart has conceived—
God has prepared these things for those who love him.
Now God has revealed these things to us by the Spirit, since the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except his spirit within him? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” - 1 Corinthians 2:9-11

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