April 4

“Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he can see.” The Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw that the hill was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17

This is the prayer we need to pray for ourselves and for one another, “Lord, open our eyes that we may see”; for the world all around us, as well as around the prophet, is full of God’s horses and chariots, waiting to carry us to places of glorious victory. And when our eyes are thus opened, we shall see in all events of life, whether great or small, whether joyful or sad, a “chariot” for our souls.

Everything that comes to us becomes a chariot the moment we treat it as such; and, on the other hand, even the smallest trial may be a Juggernaut car to crush us into misery or despair if we consider it. It lies with each of us to choose which they shall be. It all depends, not upon what these events are, but upon how we take them. If we lie down under them, and let them roll over us and crush us, they become Juggernaut cars, but if we climb up into them, as into a car of victory, and make them carry us triumphantly onward and upward, they become the chariots of God. (Streams in the Desert)

Art interpretation and diplomacy are twin requirements for grandparents. Two of my young granddaughters needed a diversion to occupy them while their mothers finalized Easter lunch. The two cousins dearly love one another, but frequently fall into the trap of one-up-man-ship. I was assigned the task of preventing domestic disturbance, so opted for the age-old distraction of paper and colors. I offered a few suggestions and they replied with the equivalent of “We’ve got this,” and went to work. The activity started innocently enough, but gradually took on a competitive edge, with frequent glances from each child to the other’s art, resulting in a quickened pace and more outlandish drawing and coloring. Word came from the kitchen that lunch was ready, so I told the girls it was time to put the art aside. That is when the trouble started. How should you respond when asked by a set of baby blues and girlish greens if you recognize what they have drawn? Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but diplomacy is a far more valuable skill with children. Instead of offering an interpretation, I asked each child to describe her own picture. This proved to be the wise route, because their descriptions were worlds away from what I thought they had depicted.

How God views us is far more important than how we see ourselves; the challenge is to exchange ours for His perspective. ‘One point perspective’ is a drawing method that shows how things appear to get smaller as they get further away, converging towards a single ‘vanishing point’ on the horizon line. The issue before every believer is how we choose to see. When I rely on my own interpretation of pain or joy, I land far short of God’s eternal perspective. Eyesight is easily taken for granted, while all the while I may be looking without seeing. Trust opens a window for both contentment and productivity. Instead of rushing to conclusions, pray for eyes of understanding.

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