God Is

Day 32

He Never Misses a Highlight

Read your Bible: Matthew 6:1–6

Spotlight Verse:

Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.Matthew 6:4b

I’ll come right out and say it: I’m a klutz. Sometimes I think I’m one of the most uncoordinated people on the planet. My wife, on the other hand, is extremely coordinated.

This came into play right away, on our first date. She suggested night skiing. Not just skiing. Skiing… at night. For me that’s a recipe for disaster. I can barely walk down the sidewalk at night. All evening she was going off jumps, shushing down the hill, and all the while my thighs were burning as I tried to maintain the snowplow posture to the bottom of the bunny hill.

Second date, she chose… roller skating. She was skating backwards, doing tricks, rexing (remember that word? For the young and uninitiated, it means to dance on skates. Used to be cool. Really…). Meanwhile, I was clinging to the sides of the skating rink like a frightened swimmer hanging on to the side of a pool, then flipping upside down at sudden, random intervals, my legs shooting into the air like I was Charlie Chaplin in an old movie.

The only sport I did in high school — the only sport I could do — was track, because it required an absolute minimum of hand-eye coordination. The coach would say: “René, listen carefully. When the man in the hat fires the gun, run! Run like the wind!” “Okay, coach!”

One day our mile relay group needed a runner for one of the four legs of their race because flu had hit the team, and I was the only one available, much to the coach’s chagrin. Looking back, I realize a lot of people must have been sick for him to trust me with this! He wisely spent quite a long time telling me how to hold the baton, which had to be passed from one runner to the next. I have to say, that baton complicated the whole situation for me exponentially. “Run while holding something? Do two things at once?!” I simply couldn’t multi-task! I think the coach was afraid I’d just switch my focus throughout the race: “Run. Hold. Run. Hold. Run.”

Well, this acute coordination difference did not prevent me and Laurie from getting married, but for years I still tried to prove to her that I could hold my own athletically.

Early in our marriage I was a youth pastor in San Diego, and part of my job was to coach two softball teams. Me! I really had but one objective. I wanted to impress Laurie so badly. I wanted her to believe she had married well, that her family’s athletic gene pool was not going to be watered down.

So I went to batting cages every morning. Worked on fielding each afternoon.

She came to the first game. And I immediately struck out. In slow-pitch softball. Which you probably couldn’t do if you tried.

Next time up, I walloped one — a home run! I looked over while trotting around the bases — she was talking to some friends. She never saw it.

That became the pattern:

I’d snag a hard-hit ball (whap!), look over — she’d be at the snack bar.

I’d bobble it like a drunk juggler, drop it, look over — she’d be shaking her head, like, “Is there something wrong with you that you haven’t told me about?”

After a while she just didn’t come to my games anymore. It was too painful for her. But that’s just when I was gettin’ good!

I’d come home, “Honey, you should’ve seen it, I won the game! Hit a ball so far over their heads— !” She’d say, “Uh-huh.” And I’m certain she was thinking, “This is so pathetic, how he’s lying to me.”

Obviously she somehow felt I had virtues that outweighed those faults… But have you ever been in a relationship like that with a boss or a friend or a neighbor? Every single time you do something stupid, they’re right there, watching, taking notes. But do something great? They’re out of town.

Sometimes I can imagine my relationship with God like that. He’s omniscient. That means He sees my every mess-up.

But one of the things omniscience also means is that every time I do the right thing, God is watching. He never misses a highlight.

Think of what this means for you.

Every time you say a kind word instead of a cutting word, every time you give someone an extra moment instead of hurrying on, every time you resist a sin instead of yielding to it, every time you give someone thirsty a drink, every time you give a can of food to the church pantry, every time you visit an elderly friend in a rest home, every time you sacrifice your wants to help someone with a need, every time you smile at someone who feels awkward, every time you have a chance to be negative but stay positive — every time you help out in the smallest ways — He sees it and records it and promises to reward it.

He’s never looking the other way.

Jesus said,

Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. Matthew 10:42

This means every good deed will be rewarded, no matter how insignificant.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying you need to show these things to God in order to get Him to love you. He loves you already, unconditionally. I mean to say that even when I think no one notices, He not only sees those good deeds, but He sees them as ways I am loving Him back for His love to me.

I’m saying Jesus Christ will surprise you in heaven by recounting things you did for others, things you did with mixed motives, things no one else noticed, even things that were so small you yourself forgot about them by the end of the day. But He sees. And He remembers.

God Knows

You may be a single Mom, thinking no one has any idea how hard it is to raise kids, keep up with the laundry, help with the homework, make nutritious meals, and stay spiritually focused, and sometimes you wonder: Does anyone know how hard this is? Does anyone see?

Well, God sees. And God will reward.

You might visit a loved one with Alzheimer’s who doesn’t even remember you were there. You get frustrated.

God sees, and He will personally thank you.

Maybe you’re in a ministry with very little appreciation-level. Thank-you cards are rare. Personal sacrifices are many. Resentment sometimes builds up.

But God knows what you’re doing. He sees every long night and every personal sacrifice, and your reward in heaven will far surpass any earthly toys you’re giving up here.

In fact, Jesus says in Matthew 6 that this means you don’t have to worry at all about impressing anyone… ever! What freedom!

I love the saying “live for an audience of one” because it takes away so much pressure. Who cares what others think? God is cheering me on.

God is… the One who never misses a highlight.

Questions For Reflection

When do you struggle with feeling unappreciated?

How does it help you to know that God’s omniscience means not just that He sees you when you fall, but that He sees all the highlights too, and promises to reward them all — even the little things that you will likely forget?