It’s happened to me more times than I care to admit. My wife will ask me to get something out of the pantry or refrigerator and, after a quick check, I’ll report that the item she wants is not there. Then she looks and there it is, right where she said it would be. Right there staring me in the face. I shake my head and wonder how I could have missed it. Maybe I give up too easily.
Have you ever driven a route you’ve driven a million times and one day you spot something that you’ve never seen before? You ask a friend if that’s new and they tell you it’s been there forever. You wonder how have you not noticed it before?
There are things all around us that for some reason or another we simply do not notice. For the most part these things may be insignificant, but what if we are missing out on some really beautiful things in life because we just don’t notice?
There’s a wonderful story in the Bible that may help us.* The prophet Elisha is advising the King of Israel during a military skirmish and things look bleak. The enemy’s army far outnumbers the Jewish troops leaving the people in despair when Elisha offers a simple prayer – “Lord, open our eyes that we may see.” At that moment a spiritual army is revealed. Elisha’s servant sees things that previously he was blinded to, and his attitude transforms from hopelessness to hopefulness. It’s amazing how open eyes can do that.
Seems like it’s easy to see the negative all around us. Seems like it’s easy to see the irritating qualities of other people. Seems like it’s easy to see all our own faults. No wonder we fall into despair. Maybe we need to say Elisha’s prayer.
Lord, open my eyes to see the beauty of those I live life with – my family, my friends, my co-workers.
Lord, open my eyes to the simple beauty of life – the warmth of the sun, the cool of the breeze, the colors of the summer, the glory of the star-studded sky.
Lord, open my eyes to the beauty of myself – my sight, my taste, my hearing, my senses, my beating heart, my expanding and contracting lungs, my laughter, your image reflected in my love and compassion. Help me see in the mirror the marvelous creation you have crafted in me.
Lord, open my eyes to see you - your endless, immeasurable, immense love.
Lord, open my eyes to hope - to the reality and certainty of your plan for mankind.There are beautiful things all around us that we just don’t see. Our lives are cluttered with pain, hurt, and doubt that blind us to beauty, but don’t give up too easily. I know it’s there, closer than you think. Maybe staring you right in the face.
*Read the story for yourself in 2 Kings 6:8-23