What Do You See?

I hate eye exams! Sitting in the chair, looking through a machine with multiple movable lenses, and an eye doctor standing six inches from your face staring into your eyes! And then it’s, “Which one is clearer? First or second?” “First or second?” “Second? Okay, second or this one?” “No difference?” “Okay, try this one!” By the time it’s finished I’m not sure I can see anything at all very clearly!

Or here’s another scenario… Witnesses interviewed by the police at a crime scene. (Okay, maybe I watch too many cop shows!). No two people ever see the same thing, even though only one thing happened! It all depends on perspective.

Where was the witness standing? What kind of view did they have? How far were they from the scene of the crime? What was the emotional state of the witness? Were they calm or hysterical? How old were they? Was their eyesight good? So many things can affect what a person sees.

Sometimes situations are not what they appear to be. We might think one thing is happening, while the truth is something completely different is happening. Or someone makes a comment to you that feels thoughtless and painful, but they truly didn’t mean it that way.

Where we choose to set our focus has a lot to do with what we see. In fact, what we focus on is often the ONLY thing we see. That choice profoundly impacts the way we live our life and whether we survive or thrive this journey of widowhood. If we look at all the things we don’t have and all that we lost along with our husbands, (remember all those secondary losses?) that’s all we’ll see. We’ll ruminate and relive the pain over and over and over – something God never intended for us.

Changing our focus to see all that we have in our lives can completely change the way we approach life. When we begin to focus on all the blessings of God that remain in our lives, little sparks of joy will begin to pop up here and there like sparklers on the Fourth of July. And soon a miracle will occur, and we’ll find that there is room in our hearts for joy, and fun, and new relationships and thriving again. It all depends on our perspective

Psalms 16:8 says this: “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” – Psalms 27:4

What we set before our eyes both physically and mentally is extremely significant. If we keep our focus on the Lord, what is it that we see? It seems that as we gaze on Him we see all that makes up who He is: love, all-knowing, all-powerful, sovereign, gracious, kind, protector. He is our strength; He walks beside us. We begin to see His beauty, His holiness, how unfathomable He is. Our focus is once again drawn upwards. He calls Himself the “lifter of our heads.”

If there’s one thing a widow needs, it’s to have her head lifted. She walks through her days and nights with her head bowed in sorrow. Exhaustion and loneliness and fear – they all dog her steps. She’s missing her other half, but in looking down, she misses what could give her strength, and yes, joy.

If you are walking through life looking down, allow Him to lift your head. It’s so easy for us to get weighed down with the burdens of everyday life here on earth. He wants you to look higher. Change your focus. Gaze on the beauty of the Lord until He brings joy to you again. What you see depends on where you’re looking!

As always, your comments and feedback are welcome. You can contact me at sheryl@freshhope.us and don’t forget to subscribe to this blog and share it with friends who will be encouraged.

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