Living with Eyes Wide Open
I’ve been in ministry actively for over 20 years now. Married for even longer than that, with three beautiful children I have had the privilege of raising, teaching, growing. Yes, there have been many lessons along the way that have etched themselves across my soul. Like highways and byways, these experiences have shaped me, challenged me, inspired and awakened me. And as you look over your life, I am sure you could say the same…if you knew where to look.
Confession: I didn’t always know where to look.
The deepest part of this confession is that I am discovering that some of the hardest spaces in my life have often closed my heart to the very One who can heal it. In my quiet time this week, I read a verse that jarred. You know, those times when you read something and it feels like you are looking in a mirror, as the Lord reflects your heart back to you with a clarity that you could never possess on your own. Yup. It was that kind of morning…
For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.
No one asks for arrows to fly. No one purposes the hard to explode, to impact. No one sets one foot in front of the other with a target of pain or suffering in mind. We don’t hope or dream that way. It’s not the way we are wired.
We are full of sin, yes, every one of us. But we have always been wired more for laughter than for tears. We crave peace, more than strife. Yes, we may stumble more into one than the other, but I believe we were birthed for a sweeter communion than those desperate places.
We were created for praise, for fellowship, for joy, for responding to our good, good Father.
And though tears may inhabit a good deal of our story, they are not where we are meant to stay.
We were created to have eyes that see and ears that hear and a heart and mind that fully understand…so that we might possess the ability to TURN. Though times of hardship profoundly impact my heart and yours, there is always a destination beyond them that is calling. I believe it is in that sacred turning space where our freedom and joy begins a new revealing.
When we shut our eyes, when we close our hearts, our ears, in an attempt to self-protect and self-comfort, we end up missing the very things we are begging for.
They are already there, already budding, already taking root…and only our open eyes, open hearts, open ears can be grateful to the One who bestows it.
Gratefulness opens our eyes and our hearts to the great “full” ness that already exists in our lives. Yes, Beloved, His great-full-ness has been unfolding from the beginning and it can be missed, but it can’t be undone. His goodness is never pushy, but He is definitely hoping you won’t miss it.
Let’s be about this one thing today…awakening to the great “full” ness in everything. In your life, in your spouse and children, in your place of ministry, in the grocery store, in your trip to the mailbox. It’s there, trust me. And if you don’t see it yet, turn and ask Him to reveal it. He is bursting to show it to you.
Think about it. The One who breathed life into you wrote your story and your name upon His heart.
He has a vested interest and is in persistent pursuit of your very heart. Nothing He does is a mistake or unusable in drawing you to Himself. He uses it all. The hard. The beautiful. The crushing. The building. Amidst the choices, the freewill, the sin, the darkness, He has declared HOPE over every single particle.
Yes, Beloved, He who defeated time and space, sin and death, is actually defending us.
He is always good. Always. That hard-wired space in your heart and in mine that craves the “Hallelujah!” was put there on purpose! That ache for joy, for laughter, for peace inside you was put there to drive you to the only One who can satisfy it. So…
Behold the great-full-ness that resides in every space…from His very heart to yours.
Oh, for grace, to turn, to trust, to see, to hear, to behold and praise Him more…and more…and more.
The song I want to share with you today is from Kari Jobe, entitled, “The Garden.” It is more of a story-board song, and as the plot of it unfolds, I pray you will take the time to close your eyes and seek out the wonder and redemption, goodness, and great-full-ness that He is unfolding in your own story.
With joy for the journey,