Is It God’s Face or God’s Hand That We Seek?

Often I go back and re-read the PrayerLetters I send out to those who have expressed an interest in following God’s leading Signs for Hope, step by step.  In some ways, these PrayerLetters have become my journal, as such.  It blows my mind to be reminded of the things God has done, last year, or even just a couple of months ago and even yesterday.  This ability to go back and see, again, what God is doing gives me encouragement to persevere, no matter my circumstances or the circumstances surrounding those God has brought into my world because of His call.  Not only does God continue to do some miraculous things, His Holy Spirit also invades my writings of what I am learning in the midst of the miraculous.  The section of the PrayerLetter labeled “From My Heart to Yours…” has sort of evolved, over time.  Most often, it is how God is refining me as He leads me on this path.  As I read again, those words I share with you from my heart, I am convicted, again, to keep my focus on Him and Him alone.  I have decided to share some of those heart-stories here on the blog.  Today’s post was originally shared in the June/July 2012 PrayerLetter, after a 27-day trip to Africa.  There have been a few revisions and additions. 

From My Heart to Yours…

As always, I truly felt your prayers the entire time I was in Africa. I know that without your partnership with me in this ministry to Deaf orphans, I will never be able to accomplish what He desires. He alone will be able to thank you for those prayers you prayed.

The experiences you and I have had over the past 3 months have all been filtered by our heavenly Father. Some of those experiences have been bittersweet and some…down right frustrating, and often painful. Some have been outright joyous occasions when we were so filled with happiness we thought we might burst. What I do not want to miss and what I do not want you to miss is this… everything, and I do mean everything, He brings us to and through is preparing us for the future. 

His greatest desire for us is conforming us to the image of His Son! Not because it is painful, mind you, but because it is for our good and for His Kingdom’s good. This is a perspective I find myself being challenged in time and time again. Will I accept ‘everything’ as His best for me or will I not? It really boils down to a question of FAITH! 

Another question I have been asking others for some time now, is, “What is the difference between seeking God’s face and seeking God’s hand?”  Many of my questions come from translating hymns and worship songs into ASL.  Over a 9-year period (2001-2010) I probably translated more than 500 worship songs, as I was signing them weekly for our interpreted services.  Desiring to know and conceptually convey accurately the meaning behind the writer’s words were always of great concern to me.

From my perspective, His hand, in scripture, often represents His power to give or take away earthly things.  But His face represents His love for you and for me and His presence with us, which is beyond anything my mind can comprehend.

Will I accept everything He allows to come my way as coming from His face and not His hand or will I not? 

You see, if it is His face that I seek and not His hand then my perspective becomes an eternal one, but if it is His hand that I seek then it is one of a temporary/earthly perspective. Seeking His face, it is His eyes of love, approval, and encouragement to persevere that I gain.

That supernatural transformation from our hearts that ‘are desperately wicked’ to His all-consuming perfected righteousness cannot be an easy one. Brothers and sisters, it is circumcision of the heart!

When we place false expectations and assumptions on what that transformation requires we will be left feeling betrayed. But when we embrace what we know to be true from scripture and recognize the fact that “all things [do] work together for good”, then we can take a deep breath or two and resolve as Job did, “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away.  Blessed be the name of the LORD.”

Will you and I ever be able embrace what James instructs?

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

I am striving to seek God’s face, daily…will you join me? 

I am adding this part as I believe it to be so timely!


I want to share with you a blog that is telling the God-story of a young woman, as she and her family are living it.  She was recently paralyzed from the armpits down. We are often touched by such a story many years later as it often takes much time to reach the point of praising God for something as life-altering as this.  Kaitlin Wanberg, and her husband, John, were married June 1 and on Sept 1 she was injured in a dirt-bike accident in the mountains of Colorado.  The families of these two and they themselves are walking this road laid out for them with a grace that only comes from an intimate relationship with their Lord.  I have joined their blog so I will not miss what God wants to teach me through them.  You might want to do the same.  These are some of Joseph’s friends made during his Kanakuk/Kivu Camp summers.

Kaitlin shared her debut blog post last Thursday.

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