“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 4:18 NLT”
“Open my eyes to the things unseen”.
It’s a curious demand on the surface. Asking your eyes to be opened to the things unseen. What exactly does it even mean??
Thankfully we’re not referring to things out of a horror movie here. That’s not something we’d generally ask for! For me this was a prayer I prayed over myself in the second quarter of 2019. It’s a bold prayer. One that you declare when you are indeed serious about that request. Why? Because there is a feel about it at first of; “Okay! What am I getting myself in to here? Am I in fact serious about the prayer?” Because when you pray a prayer like that you are basically asking the Lord to reveal things to you. Asking him to show things you haven’t yet seen.
But it’s not a one way street. It’s not like buying a movie ticket and sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the film. God will reveal things to you when you are ready for them or need them. So when i took that step I knew I needed to know that I was ready for it.
He’s not going to reveal this or that, bless me with something when I haven’t given him my full attention. I knew there were things he would show me that would be wonderful and encouraging but I also knew there would be things that would make me feel like a little boy sent to his corner to think about the things he’d done. But that was just his way of showing me areas where I could improve on. He did it gently. It never felt awkward or difficult. It simply felt like the love of my heavenly father showing understanding and compassion. He would give me time, there was never any pressure. There was only grace. There was only love.
So my attention needed to be honest and intentional. I needed to have a direction that I could head in. I found an environment that worked for me. I wrote. I wrote and wrote some more and i wrote more after that again! I kept going. It was here in the writing that I found these things previously unseen.
When writing I’ve always had a compassionate heart, one that encourages. I found that right away. There was beauty in offering that to anyone who chose to read something I wrote. I soon realised that the blessing in doing that worked both ways. I would enjoy doing it because my heart genuinely wanted to fill a need i could see. But the blessing also extended to those who needed those words. There’s purpose in that place. There’s also hope that stands so tall when you see that purpose result in something.
Purpose forms a huge part of the things that were unseen for me. It’s something that more than 18 months on from that initial prayer it had become so clear. The purpose is created from the environment I created for myself, but I couldn’t have done so without the Lord’s helping hand. It’s an environment which has so heavily relied on God’s direction, his control and his design. None of this is coincidence. None of this is luck. It’s part of his design. Living in that place is my choice. I’m encouraged. I’m given opportunity, but it’s still up to me to step in to that place that he has created for me.
So when I think back to the time I first prayed to “open my eyes to things unseen” I remember feeling unsure of what this would mean for me. I remember feeling a sense that this was a huge things to ask and that this would be a test of where I sat with the Father.
When I think back to that same prayer now I see it so differently and it’s there that I realise just how much I have seen because of that initial prayer. What I sense and feel I now see……what I see is a beauty that was unseen. It was known to a degree but the depths of it were far greater than known and to see it I had to walk down that road. I not only had to see it but I needed to experience it. I needed to work within in it to understand the depth of it.
The prayer that initially might have felt even the slightest bit scary and daunting was In fact a calling to come and live in a place that couldn’t have been any more inviting than it was. What initially looked like something daunting was nothing more than the Father asking me to make a huge leap In his direction and that this was his timing.
I’m so blessed for his timing and thankful for the things he’s shown me. As i write this I hear the words “praise forever to the king of kings” and realise that’s not coincidence. That’s the Father reminding me of his power, his glory, his provision and he’s also reminding me that it’s forever, it’s endless and nothing is more powerful.
As I finish this off some 3 weeks after I started I feel drawn back to something I wrote separately over this past weekend. Every so often I will share something with my church family via our weekly email. This time round it centred on I guess you would call it the experience and the emotions, the thoughts of what I had felt this previous Sunday in church. I had touched briefly about the way I had felt so blessed by the fact that God had given us new voices in recent times singing and also sharing their hearts with our group. It’s great to hear new voices! I’m thankful for them and thankful for what their presence provides.
But i also felt God was reminding me that new voices don’t just sound different or have a different story to tell. It’s in those moments that we focus on them, I realised they each carried something of real value and their presence should not be brushed aside. I could see that I was being drawn to more than just their presence. I was reminded that these were God’s children with stories to be told, lessons to be taught and encouragement to be shared. That new voices were in fact new opportunities to grow in my own journey with the Father.
Again. Another example was given to me of asking the Father to open my eyes to the things unseen. It was never going to be a place of daunting experiences. My perception was nowhere near the reality. The reality was beauty. The reality was grace…..his grace.
The reality was fragments of heaven been shown to me via his children. It blesses me SO much more than words can say. It’s value is immeasurable. Not surprisingly, so is his value. This Lord, God, our Father…..he is…and his value, immeasurable.