Open Your Eyes
Have you ever had someone tell you, “Oh my goodness! Just open your eyes!” Usually when we hear that, it’s not a positive thing! It typically means that someone thinks we’re grossly overlooking something that should be obvious to us. Open your eyes means, “Take another good look, and you’ll probably see something you missed!”
Occasionally, we might hear God speak this to us, telling us to slow down and take another look. My husband used to talk about what he called the “prayer of availability”. That’s when we make ourselves available to God to bring into our path whatever He chooses throughout the course of our day. It often means that we have to live with our eyes wide open!
There have been times that I have walked past someone, or circumvented a situation, and later realized that I had missed an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with someone. Having open eyes also means having open hearts and hands, for how can I see a need and not respond? At times like that, God is gracious to remind me that I need to open my eyes!
As I thought on this, I began to understand that God doesn’t just want to open our physical eyes to the needs around us. He also wants to open our inner spiritual eyes so that we begin to see things as they truly are. We see into the heart of that person who is hurting but putting on a great act. We hear the cry for help from that one who is struggling and feeling completely overwhelmed with life. We identify with the loneliness of the one who has lost a spouse, or a parent, or a child. We hear the words that aren’t even spoken…the words of the heart.
Recent studies have shown that one of the most effective ways to heal our own broken hearts is to serve others. Last week we talked about seeing whatever we’re looking at, and how changing our focus changes what we see. When we begin to look around us for opportunities to touch other lives, and we begin to serve the needs of others, a wonderful transformation begins to happen within us. Suddenly our focus changes, and we no longer have our vision fixed on our own pain and loss. We begin to see things differently. Our eyes begin to open to situations beyond ourselves, and as we show compassion to others, God begins to heal our hearts and re-establish joy again.
So, how does my inner “eyesight” begin to open? Anne Voskamp addressed this in her little book called “1,000 Gifts”. Without going into great detail (I encourage you to read the book!), let me share her words:
“…faith is always a way of seeing, a seeking for God in everything. And if the eyes gaze long enough to see God lifted in a thing, how can the lips not offer eucharisteo (thanksgiving)?”
The only way to truly have our inner eyes opened is to spend time in God’s Presence, just looking at Him, and waiting for Him to speak what He would have us do. As we wait in silence, He begins to transform us. He opens our spiritual eyes to see the world around us as He sees it. He gives us assignments to serve others. In serving, we find our hearts beginning to change. We begin to live and walk in a place of thankfulness. Before we even realize it, our eyes have opened, and our focus has changed! We see God in places where we never expected to find Him! We see Him reflected in His creation, and we become aware of His image in every person we meet.
If you are struggling with not seeing the goodness of God in your life, let me challenge you? “Take another look! Open your eyes!” Begin to wait in the Presence of God until you see Him manifested everywhere around you. Ask Him how you can serve someone who is hurting more than you are. You will be changed, and gradually your heart will heal. Hebrews 11:27 tells us to be like Moses, who “kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.” This is how we can persevere through life, no matter what it brings us, by seeing Him who is invisible!
As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t forget to subscribe to this blog and share it with friends who will be encouraged by these words.