When I was a teenager I became enthralled with The Dark Tower novels by Stephen King. I’m not a huge fan of King’s work, but The Dark Tower has something very epic about it that makes it appealing. It is about a gunslinger named Roland that is on a quest to The Dark Tower, which is at the center of the universe. The entire time Roland must fight against The Crimson King and his minions. It is a story that combines fantasy, horror, and adventure all into one.
There are many spiritual metaphors in the novels, but it is by no means a Christian story. I believe Stephen King has a Catholic background and a lot of that comes through in his books. So, there are little details in the novels that I can connect with our walks with Christ.
One of those things is something that Roland quotes anytime he is about to fire his gun. Part of the quote goes, “He who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father”. That always stuck out me as a teenager. I would be reading late at night and ponder the idea that “face of his father” reminded me of God. It was like Roland couldn’t aim unless he focused on God.
Then the other day I read Psalm 143:7, “Answer me speedily, O Lord; My spirit fails! Do not hide Your face from me, Lest I be like those who go down into the pit.” Then it occurred to me that David was searching to see God because he had reach a dark moment and needed his aim to be true.
I’m going to give you an assignment. Read Psalm 143. I’ll wait….
Are you done? Great. I’ve read this Psalm over and over again this past week. It has really spoken to my heart. Everyone goes through hard times and that included King David. This is the same King David that was “a man after God’s own heart”.
I think there is some type of notion that Christians should be all smiles and happiness. All of us know that is not true. In fact the devil is constantly attacking us through our minds, thoughts, and situations. He derails us with discouragement and stops us from hoping and trusting in God.
If we can not see God’s face, we can not fulfill his purpose for us. Sometimes the discouragement gets so great that we cry out and become angry at God, but we need to stop there. David was in a dark moment when he wrote Psalm 143, but he never stops believing or having faith. He knows God can and will come to his aid. So, he continues to praise and be thankful.
We must be vigilant and ready for these types of discouraging moments. I assure you they will come and if you are not reading your scriptures, praying, and being thankful to God, you’ll have a heck of a time fighting back. Sometimes we increase the problem, too. Instead of actively looking for God’s face and turning towards him we end up beating ourselves up for feeling the way we do.
We are not perfect. We will mess up, but if you do not believe in a loving God that wants to see you happy then you are in trouble. The good news is when we feel attacked and discouraged it is probably because the devil doesn’t want you to accomplish something God wants for you.
When we are in those dark and depressing moments we need to be more like David. It is alright if we are discouraged, but let God encourage you. The really great thing is that David has it already mapped out for us. In those dark hours we can just pray Psalm 137. If it doesn’t work the first time, read it again. Read it slow. Meditate on the words and let God lift you back up.
SEARCHING FOR OUR FATHER’S FACE
The thing that must be a priority in our lives is continually searching for God. The devil is always trying to create a gap between him and us. Some Christians live mediocre lives because they don’t want to fight the devil in order to get closer to God, but we should want to see his face more than anything else.
When we forget the face of God we lose aim with our lives. We misfire and don’t realize his purpose for us. Every time Roland aims his gun he remembers the face of his father, so his aim was true. The same should go for our lives. We need to be aiming our lives towards God’s glory, but we can not do that unless we constantly search to know him better.
And it is easier to do than you think. Sacrifice a little bit of time and read scripture, pray, and always give thanksgiving to God. You’ll be fighting back against the devil and moving closer to a more fulfilled life.The closer we are to God the more he can pour out his grace and love to us and make our lives better than we can imagine.
So, don’t lose hope and let the devil steal your heart away. Be faithful and always search for the face of your father.