Did you ever have a moment where you stopped and looked at someone and asked yourself, “What do they see when they look at me?” Have you wondered what thoughts were running through their mind? There are times when I look at my husband and wonder why he is still married to me. February twenty-fifth will be our tenth wedding anniversary.
I am still very much in love with him. It hasn’t always been easy. He isn’t the easiest person to live with, and neither am I. But we are perfect for each other. I cannot imagine my life without him. He is the most amazing man I know, and I cannot understand why someone so wonderful is with someone like me. It makes no sense. I wish I could peek into his mind and see what he sees, how he sees it. I want to know where his mind goes and how he comes to the conclusions he does. I want to understand him.
In the same way, I find myself asking God what He sees in me. I cannot understand why He would choose to love me with every mistake and choice I have made, with how imperfect I am in contrast to how great He is. I read what the Bible says about God’s love, and I know what it says, yet I still cannot fathom His love for me. I don’t know if I will fully comprehend His love before my time here on earth is finished, and He calls me home with Him. I can’t always seem to see things as God does.
The Bible is filled with stories where people couldn’t see past their own field of view. For example:
One evening Jesus leaves His disciples and goes to pray to God. The boat His disciples were on was a substantial distance from shore, and the Bible says that the wind started to pick up. In the early hours of the morning, Jesus comes to them, walking on the sea. They were terrified!
He tells them that it is He who is coming to them, and Peter tells Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Let’s read what happens.
Peter Walks On Water
Matthew 14:28-32 – “Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to come to You on the water.’ And He said, ‘Come!’ And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came forward toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus stretched His out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt? When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.”
Now, I want to focus not on his lack of faith. You may have read this story regarding faith, but I want to focus on what he saw. First, he and the disciples see something walking… on water… toward them… in the early hours of the morning, as the Bible states. Then they hear a voice that tells them not to be afraid.
Um, scary! Now, Peter and the other disciples had been with Jesus for a while. They had seen Him heal the sick, raise the dead, make the blind see, etcetera. I sincerely believe that He did believe that, with Jesus, he could walk on water and come to Him. I don’t know what went through his mind, but it may have been an exciting prospect. As He walks to Jesus, I picture a man totally focused on Jesus. Looking straight into His eyes, he walks. Then he turns to see the wind pushing the waves around. I can’t imagine the fear he must have gone through.
He knew who Jesus was. He saw what Jesus could do. When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, he saw the danger. At that moment, he had forgotten who he was with and became frightened at what he was seeing. To Jesus, walking on water was just like walking on land. And if Peter had only seen this experience through Jesus’ eyes, the outcome would have been different.
An Angelic Army
In 2 kings 6:8-23, there’s a prophet named Elisha. He loved the Lord, served God, and led God’s people in counsel. The King of Aram wanted to kill Elisha because every plot the King of Aram had was foiled by Elisha’s ability to discern with God’s leading. He sends spies to find where Elisha is to catch and murder him.
“Now the king of Aram was making war against Israel; and he consulted with his servants, saying, “In such and such a place shall be my camp.” But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, saying, “Be careful that you do not pass this place, because the Arameans are coming down there.” And the king of Israel sent scouts to the place about which the man of God had told him; so he warned him, so that he was on his guard there, more than once or twice.
Now the heart of the king of Aram was enraged over this matter; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not tell me which of us is for the king of Israel?” One of his servants said, “No, my lord, the king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” So he said, “Go and see where he is, so that I may send men and take him.” And it was told to him, saying, “Behold, he is in Dothan.” So he sent horses and chariots and a substantial army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city.
Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “This is hopeless, my master! What are we to do?” And he said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are greater than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “Lord, please, open his eyes so that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Please strike this people with blindness.” So He struck them with blindness in accordance with the word of Elisha. Then Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, nor is this the city; follow me and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he brought them to Samaria.
When they had come into Samaria, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men, so that they may see.” So the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. Then the king of Israel when he saw them, said to Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?” But he answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those whom you have taken captive with your sword and your bow? Set bread and water before them, so that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.” So he provided a large feast for them; and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the marauding bands of Arameans did not come again into the land of Israel.”
What a story! Imagine being surrounded by a considerable number of people who wanted to kill you and seeing God’s army there on your behalf! When we think about how invested God is in us and ask Him to give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart willing to listen and receive, we discern much more than what we would on our own. It’s incredible. In the good and the bad, if we could see what God wants us to see and focus on God’s leading and on Him, I think we would be amazed at what we would experience and come to know.
It’s possible to see people the way God sees them, to love them the way Jesus wants us to love them. Jesus gives good gifts and asking Him to help us understand and see as He does, to show love, compassion, kindness, and honor to others as he does. He can do it.