"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Eyes Wide Open

Scripture to reflect upon: 1 Kings 10:7
But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard.

Every morning during my time with God I pray this prayer: Lord, please use me today. Make me a vessel where Your Holy Spirit dwells. Open my ears so I may hear Your voice clearly. I only want to hear Your voice; not my own. Open my mind to understand Your Word; to comprehend and apply it to my life. Open my heart to receive Your love and mercy. To have more of You and less of me. Open my eyes, God, so I may see through Your eyes. To see the world as You see it.”

For months I’ve been praying this, and when I prayed for my eyes to see the world as He sees it, I fully expected to see pure and utter joy. Happiness and pride. I wanted to see the world as a place where love and peace can be found through God’s own mercy.

Tuesday was an incredibly tough day for me. The system was working against us. The doctor told my mother there is new cancer forming on her brain. And then the verdict of “not guilty” for Casey Anthony threw me over the edge.

My spirit was incredibly restless. I tried to pray. I tried to write. I tried to read. I tried to study scripture. I tried to watch TV. I tried to lie down. I tried to sit still. I tried to eat. I tried to water my plants. I tried to play a video game. I tried…and there was no relief from what I was feeling. None…

I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. I was overcome with grief and frustration. For years I have stayed clear of the Casey Anthony story because it was so disturbing. But for some reason I was drawn to it after the verdict, despite my own desire to turn a blind eye. And then my mother told me she no longer had hope that the cancer wouldn’t keep spreading, but instead was surrendering to the fact that this is the beginning of the end.

With the lights off and saying our goodnights, Jared pulled me up to pray, but I found myself weeping uncontrollably. Jared was at a loss for words and simply laid his hand on my head and prayed a very simple, “Help her, Father.” My weeping took on a whole new form and then I saw God weeping with me, and He said softly, “You wanted to see the world through My eyes…”

I was quickly reminded of Hosea 11:8: “All my compassion is aroused.” (In my bible I have the words, “Wow!” written next to that verse.) I expected to see sunshine and lollipops, but God showed me His heart instead.

Throughout my restless day, I thought if I took a drive down by the lake by myself I could find some relief. Instead, what I saw was near utter destruction from the wind storm that hit our area last week. Trees weren’t simply uprooted, but concrete and asphalt were ripped from the earth too. Parks were decimated. I got out of my car a few times to take pictures and what I noticed was incredibly fascinating. Every tree that was ripped from the earth fell AWAY from the houses. No matter what street, or how the tree faced, every house but ONE, was miraculously spared.

After what I saw down there, combined with the news of the day, God also provided me with an opportunity to witness His mercy. There have been horrific storms all over the world that have demolished entire neighborhoods, but somehow here in Kenosha, Wisconsin, we were pardoned from destruction.

NOTE TO SELF: For God so loved the world…He weeps over what He sees, and yet still, shows us great mercy.   

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