February 12, 2009

Gazing Grace

Psalm 27

One thing I ask … to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
Psalm 27:4


I recently read Psalm 27 each day for a week. One morning I found myself skimming it quickly, the words flowing past my eyes without any thought or concentration. After all, I had to get through the psalm! When I realized what I was doing (or actually not doing), I started over to read more slowly.

Two short words taught me how to read properly: “gaze” and “seek.” I had initially been doing neither. I had more glaze over my eyes than gaze in my heart. I was settling more for peeking than seeking. I had almost missed the most wonderful thing to gaze upon—”the beauty of the Lord”!

I was like two mixed-up tourists climbing the Alps on an autumn day. There was magnificent color in the valley below and crests of snow above. But as they walked with their heads down, looking only at their feet, they said, “We heard there was a view up here; where is it?”

It is often said that “familiarity breeds contempt.” Reading the Scriptures routinely can certainly breed neglect if we’re not careful. As we receive the grace to gaze, we see light, salvation, a stronghold, confidence, safety in the Lord’s dwelling, shelter in his tabernacle, a high rock, shouts of joy, mercy, help, teaching, God’s goodness. We see the full beauty of the Lord because of his gazing grace.

God of all grace, we ask today for your grace to slow us down, that we might seek your face and gaze with wonder and praise on your beauty and majesty. Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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