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Sunday, November 8, 2015

It is right there in front of you!

I am always kind of embarrassed whenever I am looking all around for something and someone comes along, asks quietly what I am looking for, then proceeds to point it out right in front of my face.  Ever been there?  You have searched high and low, creating all kind of inner frenzy as emotions build in your fury to find whatever it is, and so clearly miss it right there in front of you.  Yes, we might be searching.  Yes, we might be determined to find whatever it is.  Yes, we will not be denied finding whatever it is.  Up to this point, we are just caught up in the search - but it is the finding which has us mystified!  That might just be the exact place God has the greatest opportunity to just dawn his light in our lives!  

Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in. Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace. Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance. (Ephesians 1:18 VOICE)

In searching, there is some sense of "carefulness" we plan to exhibit in our seeking to explore whatever it is we are attempting to discover.  Yet, even with all the carefulness we can muster, we can still miss some of the most obvious things!  Mom has bad eyesight because of advanced macular degeneration.  She sees shapes (outlines) of figures in front of her, but has poor color discrimination.  She sees portions of things, but not the whole.  As a result, something quite obvious right in front of her can often be missed.  I can set a spoon next to the fork on the table as I place her meal in front of her and she will ask for a spoon. She didn't see what was right there.  I was careful to plan, but all the care in the world didn't make any difference when it came to discovering what was right there already.  She needed me to point it out to her.  Things aren't much different in our walk with Jesus - he plans carefully for our lives, allowing us to plan equally carefully, but it is in the moment he points out the things we most need at that moment that we come to the place of discovery.

This passage is sort of a prayer we can use in our own lives, because it simply asks God to open our eyes to see what is hidden from our hearts; to give us the ability to embrace the hope which is right in front of us; and to enjoy the riches of his grace right there in front of us just waiting for us to discover them.  Notice in all three of these "discoveries" God is the one who actually does the revealing.  That means he is the one who comes in the midst of our searching and shows us exactly where to find whatever it was we needed at that very moment. That means the discovery will be perfect - not too early, lest we fail to appreciate the importance of the discovery; not too late, lest we despair and grow weary and without hope.

The heart (mind, will, and emotions) are opened through the light of God flooding in, bringing us to the place of discovery in thought, determination, and the depth of experience created by his hand.  God does more in the giving of light into the dark places of our lives than we could ever do despite our every effort to figure things out in our own reasoning or determination to use will-power to overcome something.  Hope is something which tells us whatever it is we are waiting to discover can actually be found - it can be ours for the taking. We might not realize that apart from the light God gives - simply because we don't see the possibilities he sees, nor the plans he has made well in advance of us needing whatever that may be in our lives.  One thing about hope - it is not really of value to us until it is embraced. You can have all manner of understanding about how to lose weight, but until you implement the plan, depending on the outcome through the presence of hope, you don't lose weight.  You "hope" the actions you are taking will reveal the outcome you desire.  Hope has to be embraced - even when you don't see the immediate results.

Three actions of God on our behalf make all the difference in our discovery and ability to walk strong:  1) the opening of our eyes to the possibilities right in front of us; 2) the calling of God to walk into the light he has prepared to reveal what is right in front of us; and 3) the revelation of God's plan by the combined use of both our new-found "sight" and the presence of our newly-embraced hope he has provided.  Most of what we need is right there in front of us - but it is just not revealed or discovered yet.  Much of what we need is based on our response to what is revealed - for all manner of revelation means nothing if we don't embrace what is revealed!  Just sayin!