Have you ever noticed that people have a tendency to see what they are looking for? Observation is not a neutral activity. There can be several witnesses to an event and each describes what happened differently. Yes, there are some similarities and much of what is described is identical. Yet at times, it seems they are describing different events. There are a lot of factors that go into this reality, but one thing I have come to understand is that most people in life see what they are looking for. If you believe in God, you see His fingerprints everywhere. If acknowledging God is not part of your life, you do not see Him. It happens in many areas of life. When you buy a car you are certain that the color and model you just purchased are unique and special. It is really quite surprising as you drive the car home how many cars just like it, you pass on the road. What happened? The cars were always there you are now prepared to see them. Your awareness has been raised.
There are people that will take any event or action and place a cynical spin on it all. Cynicism has become the lens through which they view life. The reason is that they see what they’re looking for.
In the Beatitudes, Jesus said: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8) I used to think the verse meant that if I came to Christ and lived for HIm when I died and went to heaven, then I would see God. In reality, the verse is saying: if I know and experience the Love and Grace of God, I will see Him right here and right now!
You do see, what you are looking for! We can not just see Him when things are going well, I can see Him in all the events of my life. I see Him as I hear the children’s voices at play on the school playground that is behind my house. Their laughter and playing remind me that ‘Jesus loves the little children.’ I see that everyone on this earth is created in the image of God. I see Him in the kindness of strangers and friends alike. I see HIm in the events and circumstances of life. Recently somehow I remembered a very sad and hurtful event from my childhood, why it popped into my mind I was not certain, but just as quickly I felt the sense that in that sad event, God was there comforting me and it was as real to me today as it was over fifty years ago. It really is true you see what you are looking for.
There are times I fail to see or recognize or even acknowledge how God is working in my life and world. I feel like the blind man who Jesus healed, He asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around.” Then again He laid His hands on his eyes, and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly.” (Mark 8:24-25) Jesus asked Him what He saw. He saw people but they looked like trees. How often have I not really seen the people around me? How often have I not appreciated the pain, hurt, confusion, and experiences of others? Often like the blind man Jesus encountered I need a second and sometimes a third touch. Jesus asked Him when He touched him a second time and he responded that he could see clearly!
You and I must not give in to hate, bitterness, cynicism, and the spirit of the age. We must have the touch of Jesus that comes from a pure heart in order to see people as Jesus sees them. I need Jesus to assist me in breaking old ways of operating. I need to view everyone I come in contact with as who they are: A person created in the image of Almighty God.
Maybe you like me need another touch from Jesus in order to see things clearly today. My prayer is that we will not give in to the spirit of the age, but will have our hearts so attuned to Him that we do in fact see God right here and right now!