Blog – 6-19-19
As I write this, I’m sitting on my deck in our backyard. We live on the edge of town, and there is a cornfield right at the end of our property. Rolling hills and treetops covered with new growth that is a vibrant green fill my landscape. Birds sing their sweet songs of praise as a lone hawk soars in an effortless dance on the gentle breeze that’s blowing.
It’s absolutely beautiful back here.
But to be honest, there have been way too many times when I’ve missed the beauty that’s right here in my own backyard. I’ve been distracted by the hurried state of my life, the heartaches of living in a fallen world, and the constant “wishing for the next thing.” I am realizing more and more, however, that the biggest reason I miss out on this incredible beauty is because I don’t always live in a place of gratitude. I get caught up in the more, more, more of life. I feel the discontent of dreams that are waiting to be fulfilled. I struggle to be patient in the waiting.
God has been calling me out of this place of quiet darkness to a place of intense light. He keeps waking me up early in the morning and whispering to my heart to get out of bed and meet Him in His morning sunlight. He continuously beckons me to do my devotions outside, to take in His glory as I read His Word.
Today He woke me up at 5:30 a.m., which was earlier than I wanted to get up, but I was faithful. I actually felt a sense of excitement and urgency to get out there to my favorite spot. Then this evening, after a very long day, He beckoned me again to simply take stock and notice – to come outside and see His world with my eyes wide open.
Earlier today I read these words that Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians:
Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude.
Colossians 4:2 (MSG)
Gratitude opens up a world of possibility. It transforms the everyday into the miraculous. When we see the world around us through eyes of gratitude, everything comes alive in a whole new way. Instead of seeing what isn’t, we stand amazed by what is. Instead of being bogged down in details, we get lifted up in singleness of purpose. Instead of seeing the imperfections in our lives, we stand awed and amazed at all God has provided for us.
As I was writing this blog, a friend called to tell me she had lost her job today. She was devastated. Her world felt like it was completely crashing down around her.
But with eyes wide open, alert, with a grateful heart, I clearly saw the good things God has in store for her. She’s been working in a great job, but it isn’t one that’s fulfilling her purpose. She has felt God’s calling to something different for a while now, and we’ve been looking at different opportunities together, places where God could use her story for His glory.
God showed me very clearly as we were talking that this situation, as devastating as it seemed to my friend at that moment, was Him releasing her from this position so He could take her to the exact place where He wants her to be. She has a powerful story of God’s redemptive love and grace in her life, and I know He has big plans for her. I realize it doesn’t feel that way at all to her now, but I believe with every bit of faith I have that a year from now she will be rejoicing and grateful for this day.
Eyes wide open – open to His love, open to His plan in the midst of our pain, open to His goodness in the midst of the hard, open to His glory that is literally everywhere around us…..if we only have our eyes and hearts open to take it in.
I pray you will join me and live your life with your eyes wide open – alert to everything God has provided for you, awakened and renewed by an attitude of gratitude.
Hugs and love,
Eyes Wide Open
Blog – 6-19-19