Have you ever had the realization that God set something in motion somewhere, long before you were ever there, because he saw that down the road, you’d need it to be that way? Maybe you get cold chills when this happens. Maybe, like me, you cry a little, or a lot. It’s touching to see that we have a Father who sees us and our road ahead so clearly.
I love the story of Philip and Nathanael’s calling in John 1:43-50. Jesus calls Philip first, who then goes to get his brother Nathanael, wanting him to be a part of Jesus’ ministry. Nathanael is skeptical of Jesus because he’s not from the best part of town. He asks, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” His cynicism about Jesus could perhaps cause us to think that he wouldn’t be good disciple material. But Jesus sees Nathanael’s heart and says of him, “Here is a true Israelite in whom there is nothing false.” I would long to hear Jesus say those words of me, “one in whom there is nothing false.” That’s incredible. When Nathanael wonders at how Jesus could make this judgment, stating that Jesus doesn’t know him, Jesus tells him, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree, before Philip called you.” Jesus says, “I saw you.” I love that. Before Nathanael ever entered that scene, Jesus saw him, saw his heart.
I often find myself wanting to know that Jesus sees me. And so, one of my favorite prayers to pray is “Lord, I need to know that you see me today.” He never fails to answer that prayer. Whether it was a student coming to help me grade papers, or a mentor encouraging me, or a friend giving me just what I needed, Jesus has always been faithful to show me that he sees me. I love these moments when my eyes are opened to see how God has seen me, back while I was still “under the fig tree” so to speak.
The last Sunday in May was just one such experience. Our sweet children were leading worship in church with their awesome little songs and fun motions. And it touched me like never before because I realized that God placed us in a church that already has a children’s program using sign language for their songs. We won’t have to ask the Sunday school coordinators if they could somehow work that into children’s church when Sophie moves up from the nursery. She won’t be out of place one bit when she signs her worship to the Lord. All of her little friends will worship with their hands in addition to their voices. Our church has been using motions in children’s church since its beginning several years ago, back when we were still “under the fig tree.” We didn’t even have any children when we started attending this church, yet God saw. He knew what was ahead. He prepared a place for us. This touches my mommy’s heart so deeply.
I’m so thankful for our church and for a Father who cares enough to see us while we are back up the road a piece, under the fig tree. He’s always working for our good. So even though I can’t see down the road nearly as far as he can, I can just take one step at a time, trusting that he’s got the way prepared for us.