How would you define faith? A simple definition is this: seeing things the way God sees them. Faith is seeing my life, my spouse, my family the way that God does. When I choose to put on my “God glasses” and see with the eyes of faith, my vision sharpens, all things become possible, and life begins to change.
No one is promised an easy life. As a matter of fact, we are promised just the opposite by Christ Himself in John 16:33, “I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
If we believe this, then it is IN CHRIST that we must place our hope, trust and faith. We must live IN HIM, clinging to Him when (not IF) trouble begins. Pastor Bill Johnson says, “Peace is not the absence of turmoil. But it’s the presence of Someone.”
A good storyline often begins with a struggle between the protagonist-- the one fighting to move forward-- and the antagonist-- the one keeping him from what he truly desires. Real or imagined, the antagonist stands between the protagonist and his heart’s greatest longing, the object or situation he believes will bring ultimate fulfillment.
Make NO mistake! There is only one TRUE ENEMY, one true antagonist in our life-- the enemy of our soul. He is a master at turning the ones we are called to “see as God sees”-- our beloved spouse or children-- into the “antagonists”. He confuses us, tricking us into believing that our family members are what stand in the way of our happiness, instead of being part of the God-given FULFILLMENT of our deepest desires. He whispers into our ears sweet nothings about “others” and magnifies the shortcomings of those closest to us.
Sadly, we can’t love what we don’t appreciate. Therefore the enemy works over-time and “sours” even the sweetest of relationships making us see only the worst parts of our spouses' personality. It’s reported that people take note and register 100% of what is done AGAINST them by others, but only acknowledge about 30% of what others do FOR them.
Want to see your life, spouse or family as God does--with eyes of faith? Try “cleaning your glasses”. Here's a little spiritual windex:
1. Start a journal. Every time someone (spouse, family member, or even a stranger that God works through) blesses you in some way WRITE IT DOWN. Even the very little things, like when he fluffs your pillow, or she picks up your laundry, or he holds a door. Start to NOTICE the GOOD of others, and the BAD won’t seem so ALL pervasive.
2. Don’t say: “You ALWAYS do that!!!!”...”YOU ARE just a ______! That’s just what YOU are!” Because no one is always “that” --100% of the time. Encourage what you LIKE seeing, and you just might see MORE of it--don't get stuck in just pointing out the negative.
3. See all things as providential, even what you might consider the “difficult things” in life. We serve an amazing God! If we see life as He does, with the clear eyes of faith, we can trust Romans 8:28 to be true: “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Look for the silver lining. Sometimes we are blessed and get to see them, sometimes we don’t, but we can trust that God knows what He is up to.
4. Cling to Jesus and to each other when “troubles" begin. By CLINGING in HOPE to God (though He be unseen) we can “see things as God sees them”--with spiritual 20/20 vision-- through the eyes of faith.
“Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
I want to have spiritual 20/20 vision. I want to be able to see things the way that You see them. But I confess, I am often short sighted and blind to the goodness of my spouse and children. I do not always notice the multiple blessings, but focus on the irritating and small, the human weakness, that I too possess. I pray that by Your grace, you will help me to see with Your eyes. Place Your spiritual God glasses on my eyes and let me see as You do! I want to choose to see the good. From today onwards, let me see the enemy as my enemy, and no one else as that. Jesus, I trust in You to turn even the worst circumstance from sour to sweet, as You were able to turn mere water into wine. Come Lord Jesus, because without Your help, I grope, I stumble and I fall.
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Thank you to Fr. John Paul Duran and to John and Heidi Scanlon for their many years of friendship and inspiration for this blog!