“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things
that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone,
but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
2 Corinthians 4:18New Living Translation (NLT)
I have friends who I credit with helping me ‘stand on a high hill.’ The questions they ask, the comments they make give me a higher perspective. I see better when I’m around them.
If we see only that which is right in front of our noses, we miss the big picture. And there is a big picture. There are forces at work that typically aren’t seen. There is drama that is hidden. There are often reasons and rationale that haven’t been factored into our view. God’s ultimate plan is seldom obvious to the casual observer.
Someone has said that a Christian can see through the obvious to the real. In other words, there’s more to what we’re seeing than we can see!
Take shepherd boy David for example. As he strode across the plain toward the enemy’s champion Goliath he wasn’t walking with his eyes shut. He took it all in. With his eyes he saw a veritable giant, covered in armor, mocking and sneering. And with his mind he knew this foe’s military history – understood the consequences to his nation if he lost this fight. But his five senses simply weren’t giving him the whole picture.
With his soul and spirit he viewed the situation differently. He saw the big picture. He saw God’s plan and knew that the mocking and threats were going to end. Freedom would come to God’s people. The obvious was masking the real outcome.
- Jesus looked through the obvious inability of a small lunch feeding several thousand people and saw the reality of what God intended to do. Then he cooperated with that plan. (Matthew 14)
- Peter looked through the obvious and grasped the reality of being able to trust Christ’s instruction to get out of the boat and walk on the water! (Matthew 14)
- The official from Capernaum (John 4) looked past the obvious terminal condition of his son to embrace the reality of Jesus’ ability to heal.
We too face obvious panic producers, fear fomenters and peace pummelers. If our attention is only on what is readily and easily observed and we concentrate solely on the economic indicators, threats of war and eroding moral standards … and we don’t discern God’s hand at work … we are left hopeless and adrift.
This week don’t forget that God is still God and his plans for us will find exciting fulfillment. It’s just that the things we don’t see hold the promises we are waiting for. The obvious can’t always be trusted!