What Was, “The Ugliest Face She Ever Saw?”

I’ve always loved stories and once my grandmother Deloney told me a family story that stuck with me. I’ve tried to remember the details correctly.

She had one of those “No!-It’s-not-possible-pregnancies” when she was a bit older and her youngest child was already eleven. The result was wonderful–my Uncle Donnie. But first it was nearly fatal.

The little one almost died at birth and his mother as well. Grandma was unconscious for three days. She told me that the first thing she saw when she finally woke up was the haggard, stubble-covered face of granddad leaning over her.

“That’s the ugliest face I ever saw,” she teased weakly. And those were probably some of the sweetest words he had ever heard.

You often can tell a lot by looking into someone’s visage. Grandpa didn’t talk much and he sure wasn’t romantic, but that worried, sleep-deprived face shouted how valuable Grandma was to him.

Looking Into God’s Face

Looking into God’s face can revolutionize our lives and teach us a lot about Him. “Whoa! Wait a minute. I thought you couldn’t look into God’s face. Moses wanted to but God said it would kill him (Exodus 33:20).

Yes but something transformational happened at the Cross. The Lord’s death and resurrection opened the way for us to look into God’s glory. It shines from Jesus’ face. “2 Cor. 4:6 For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (ESV)

Looking into this glory is essential if we are going to be all God created us to be. The vision of this glory changes us to look like Jesus.

Here’s how it works. “6 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Notice three things here:

1/ We turn to the Lord. Before this men turned to the Law of Moses to be saved, but they struck out. The Law only condemned their sin but couldn’t take it away. So, by faith we turn to the Lord Jesus, looking for forgiveness and a new heart. Yet, men stubbornly persisted in trying to come to God in their own goodness, a goodness that was far short of God because of sin. Paul says it was like the veil that Moses put over his face when it shone with God’s glory. That glory scared them so Moses had to hide it.

2/ But when we turn to the Lord Jesus in faith that He will forgive us and renew us, this veil is taken away. God does it! He forgives us and gives us a new spiritual life. We’re looking into God’s glory in Jesus’ face.

3/ Then day by day as we continue to look at His glory we’re changed, transformed, to look more and more like Him. We’ve got to gaze at Him each day and like the heat of the oven changes the batter into cake, God’s glory changes us into Jesus’ likeness.

He doesn’t just zap us one time and we’re perfectly like the Lord. It’s a daily process, a metamorphosis.

The dictionary defines metamorphosis as, “(in an insect or amphibian) the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form in two or more distinct stages…a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means.”

Paul says, we, “are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” (2 Cor. 3:18). Guess what this word, “transformed,” is in the Greek language in which this passage was originally written … “metamorphoō.” From which we get, “metamorphosis” in English.

According to M. Thayer’s Greek lexicon it means, “1) to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure. 1a) Christ appearance was changed and was resplendent with divine brightness on the mount of transfiguration.”

Same word.

So, if I want to know God more intimately and be changed what are some practical things I can do this year?

Scour God’s Word to see Jesus revealed more; spend time praying in the Spirit and listening to Him as I go about my day; look for Him in my brothers and sisters; go on vacation and see Him in His creation and keep my eyes open to see what the Lord is doing in the world to bring about the fulfillment of His great plan.

I MUST mix healthy doses of faith into each of these activities in order to see it through God’s eyes and not just human eyes. I’ve got to keep my eyes on the glory in Jesus’ face.

Image par Ian Lindsay de Pixabay
Image par NJ Lechnir de Pixabay

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