Image by Sumanley xulx from Pixabay

I don’t know about you, but I still have trouble recognizing acquaintances when they’re wearing a mask.

One of the unusual things this pandemic has taught us is just how much we rely on a person’s whole face to clue us in to who they are.

When someone wears a mask, we’re missing half the visual information we normally get from their features. It takes us longer to cotton on to who it is.

We waltz past someone, glance at the top half of their face above their mask, and think they look vaguely familiar.

“That’s not so-and-so, is it?” we wonder, as we keep walking.

Too late, we realize it was so-and-so. We can only hope they weren’t offended that we sped past them without a hello.

This pandemic has been unnerving in many ways. Mask-wearing has robbed us of some of the crucial information we need to identify people quickly. Not only that, masks also deprive us of the ability to see people smile.

Do you ever feel like you’re only seeing half of God’s “face,” as it were?

Has hardship obscured His features from your sight? Do you long to see Him smile upon you again?

When we go through difficult things in life, it can be unsettling for us. We don’t experience the blessings that we used to enjoy. It can sometimes seem like God isn’t smiling on us anymore.

It may seem to us like half of who God is is missing from the picture. We feel like we’re not seeing the same person we knew from times past.

In times like this, when God doesn’t seem as recognizable to us, we have to rely on what we can still see of Him: the truths about who God is from Scripture.

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21-23)

Just because it feels like we can’t see God clearly through our pain, it doesn’t mean He’s not there. Not only is He always with us, we know that God doesn’t change. He’s still the same loving Heavenly Father He always was.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

When going through rough times, it’s easy to conclude that God’s love is hidden from us somehow. That’s why it’s so important to store up in our hearts truths from Scripture about His unchanging love.

Think of the lines from the beloved hymn, “My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less”:

“When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.”

When you feel you can’t see God’s face, trust in His unchanging character. Stand on the firm promises of the Bible. Remember the blessings God has already bestowed on you, and trust that you’ll see His smile again.

Most importantly, rely on the expression of God’s love as found in the person of Jesus. He is an exact representation of the Father. If you want to recall what God looks like, gaze upon Jesus and remember what He has done for you.

If you feel like God’s face is hidden from you, look to the Cross. His love for you was written openly and publicly there. Hardship and difficult circumstances can make it seem that God’s smile is masked from you, but at the Cross, His love was writ large, as plain as the nose on your face!

“ ‘In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,’ says the LORD your Redeemer.”

Isaiah 54:8

© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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