Open my eyes, Lord!

I am blind as a bat without my contacts or glasses. I am not too far off from the long-standing eye doctor joke, ending with, 

“What chart?”

I’m not sure exactly how long I went thinking the world around me was blurry. Maybe I thought everybody saw the same thing I did. I do remember in the fifth grade, my desk was located in the farthest row possible from the blackboard. (Yes, I know blackboard dates me) I had discovered that if I pulled out on the outer corners of my eyes, that my vision became clearer, long enough for me to read the blackboard. I learned later doing that was actually reshaping the eyes, thus clearing up the vision. It certainly worked, but I looked like an idiot and it tied up my hands. 
My teacher consulted with my mom, and it was off to the optometrist for me. I would soon reappear fitted with those lovely “cat” glasses of the early 70’s. But, it was the trip home with my new glasses that left a lasting impression. I’m sure I resembled the family pet in the front seat as I sat gazing out the window at my new surroundings. For the first time, I was seeing things like birds, high line wires (I knew there were poles, but no wires), individual leaves on trees, house numbers, clouds, airplanes and even faces at a distance …..things I could not see before. I was amazed! I was beholding a whole new world. 
Years ago, a pastor friend of mine, gave me invaluable insight into a “whole new world”. As a spiritual toddler at that time, I was developing a hunger for The Word and wanted to be able to read it and understand it accurately, but some of it was “fuzzy” to me.  He recommended that each time I sat down to read, to first pray using the scripture from Psalm 119:18, 
“Open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from your law.”
And God honors His Word! The fascination I had experienced as a child beholding my new world with my “new eyes” was a mere flicker in comparison to the unspeakable wonderment I have beheld in the light of God’s Word. And each new year, God continues to reveal new things to me as I pray and seek His Word, beginning always with “Open my eyes, Lord…..” 
If God’s Word seems “fuzzy” to you, I encourage you to pray Psalm 119:18 the next time you sit down to read and see if you do not behold wonderful new things.  No matter where you are spiritually or what stage you are in, God will open your eyes to what may be needed for the moment or perhaps even a new direction He desires for you.  You will stand amazed as you behold a whole new world! 

Is your perception of me merely a reflection of you?

“They think you are stuck up.”  
The words of a friend cut through me like a searing knife. 

“They said you snubbed them when you walked by.” 

She was talking about a group of girls from the opposing team we were playing at a high school basketball game in 1976. I walked by the group while on my way to the concession stand. The thing was—I didn’t snub them. I was actually completely intimidated by them, so I kept my eyes on the path directly in front of me, trying my best not to trip over my fear.

Our perceptions of others, we learn, are not always reality. Perceptions can be biased, often skewed by factors such as our background, culture, past experiences, misinformation, attitudes and even emotions, and are often the very reflection of our own messed-up selves.

"We see the world, not as it is, but as we are." -- Talmud

Divine Appointments

He loves His children so much and gives us each day just what we need for that day. 

One afternoon, a young man came to our home to install a new “high-tech” thermostat. Little did I know, or he, it would turn into one of those precious “God moments”. 

As soon as the contractor entered our home, I felt an instant connection with him, and he confirmed that connection within only a few minutes. He was a brother-in Christ. So we enjoyed our faith discussion on and off as he worked. 

After about an hour, he wrapped things up and prepared to leave, and with a deep sigh he added he still had a long trip ahead of him to another customer. He was tired. I felt I needed to ask if I could pray for him before he left. He eagerly accepted and removed his hat. 

I will admit to you that asking to pray for someone is still a bit difficult for me, and it truly is an act of obedience. However, it does seem the more I do it, the easier it becomes, and the more I also begin to see that it’s not so much about my words, but about God speaking through me if I allow Him. He can’t speak through a closed mouth. 
“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27) 
The words began to flow out of my mouth with ease, and it actually shocked me a little. I continued until I felt it was time to stop. 

“Amen and amen.”  So it is, and so it shall be. 

I looked up and the young man was wiping his face. He went on to share that the prayer confirmed what he felt the Lord was calling him to do. In addition, it gave him a peace and comfort regarding his life right now. He revealed that he had just lost his wife, the mother of their young children, two months ago to an aneurism, and times were very difficult for them. Now the prayer made sense. Once again, I stood in awe of the goodness and faithfulness of God and how He can use someone as flawed as me to bring a word of encouragement to someone in need.

Making yourself available to God can align you with some of the most awesome experiences.  With God, there are always hidden blessings. Just when I had begun to wonder if I was doing anything, or if I was making any difference at all, God assigned an appointment, giving me a booster shot, so to speak. Glory to God!

Give God permission to use you to comfort others and I promise you, He will provide the opportunities. Ask Him for the desires of His heart and He will give you those desires for your heart. And when He brings it, be obedient, and allow the Spirit of God to minister through you, and you will be blessed indeed. 
"Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak." (Col. 4:2-4, KJV)
Stay alert. Keep your eyes open. Watch with eagerness for those opportunities which the Lord brings into your day and often right into your path, even when you least expect it. Fine tune your spirit with prayer and a hunger to fulfill God's will for that day. There is an appointment coming with your name on it.

Lord of Glory, God of all comfort, thank you for Your goodness and lovingkindness. Thank you for the Prince of Peace who guards our hearts and our minds in difficult times. Help us Lord, to receive all that is ours in Christ today, for our specific needs. Use me, Lord, to comfort others as You lead. I give You permission now, in Jesus’ name, Amen and amen.


I remember the day I held our firstborn in my arms, and suddenly our lives were changed forever. We weren't really sure we even knew what to do with this new blessing. But like all parents, we learned. In fun, I remember calculating the year of his high school graduation. At that time, 1999 sounded eons away. But then--we blinked--and it was here. We blinked again…and our middle son left in 2002. One more blink…and our daughter left in 2006. 

And as quickly as we became new parents, we became empty-nesters, and suddenly our lives were changed again. And again, we weren't really sure we even knew what to do with this new blessing.

Rags to Riches

The Beverly Hillbillies, a sitcom of the 60s and early 70s, and a family favorite during my childhood days, was a “rags to riches” sort of show of a poor backwoods family who strike it rich when “Pa”, the Clampett family patriarch discovers oil—black gold, Texas tea—while hunting for mealtime provisions. 

Kinfolk of the Clampetts then urged the family to pack up their belongings and move to California, where they could reside in a large mansion in the Beverly Hills district; a dwelling more befitting their newfound wealth.

The show was a comedic combination of poverty and affluence, and the unsophisticated with the refined as the Clampetts maintained their simpleton lifestyle while having access to millions. It made for amusing entertainment.

When Paul wrote to the believers in Ephesus, he sought to encourage them to recognize the spiritual wealth they had “in Christ”. They were spiritually rich beyond measure but had been living as beggars—spiritual paupers—because of their ignorance of all that was available to them in Christ.

We do the same. 

Many believers today live as beggars, spiritual paupers, and victims of their past because of the same reason: they are not aware of the great wealth they have in Christ. They walk around in the old garments of spiritual poverty—content in their old ways.

Paul writes:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. 
In all wisdom and insight, He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention, which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Eph. 1:3-14 NASB)

God has given everything we need to live the victorious Christian life. He predestined this great mystery before the foundation of the earth and before you were formed in your mother’s womb. From the days of old, everything took place in its proper order so that this mystery might be revealed to us according to the glory of His grace.

The love and kindness of God intended that we have adoption, acceptance, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, inheritance, the seal of the Holy Spirit, life, grace, and citizenship—in short, every spiritual blessing. We have all the resources needed for living a victorious Christian life.

Father God, help me to fully grasp the truth of Your word in Eph. 1 that I may know and receive every spiritual blessing for me. Open my eyes and my heart to see what I need to lay down in order to fill up with an abundance of Your blessings to live a victorious life in You, that others may know that You are the One True God, in Jesus' name, amen.  

"All our righteous acts are like filthy rags".  Is. 64:6