this morning i was faced with my own inability to come before Jesus face to face. in Luke 8.43-48 Jesus is in among a crowd and a woman who has had a bloody discharge for 12 years and had spent all of her money on physicians who were unable to help her. so she comes up behind him to touch the fringe of his garment. and he knows it. and he asks around for who it was (i am sure he already knew, but he wanted to give her the chance to come face to face with him. similar to when God give Adam and Eve the opportunity to tell Him what they did and why they were hiding from Him in Genesis 3.9. seriously. He is God. He knows everything).
i am not suggesting i know the woman's motive for approaching Jesus this way. i am sure there were tumultuous emotions raging about in her heart as she touched Him. but, for me, how often do i come to Jesus just to touch Him on the fringe of goodness and mercy and then turn away expecting to take what i need then leave? am i embarrassed by my condition so much that i don't want to reveal it to Him and to the others around me? am i just coming to sneak a bit of His grace without suffering the consequences of my own sin? when all He wants of me is my confession of my sins and the state of my heart.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Ps 51.17
i am to come before Him, not in secret, not to His backside, but to His face.
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!
His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus by Helen H. Lemmel
(if you want to hear how this goes, go to cyberhymnal.org)