How's Your Vision? First in the Series of Cruise Devotions

The only time I saw the painting was when I was lying in bed. Not a fan of abstract art, I remember glancing at it one night and wondering why so many interior decorators favor the style. It was colorful enough, I conceded, and it definitely complimented the tropical theme of the cruise ship, but as a pragmatist, I prefer knowing what I am looking at without having to guess.

Today I saw the painting in a whole new light.

Propped up on the side of the bed reading my Bible, I waited for my husband to finish showering. As I glanced at the painting, I noticed with surprise that there were three figures in the lower corner. There were also bright green palm trees, pink hibiscus flowers, and a canopy of foliage forming a frame for the tropical scene. The artwork I had dismissed as abstract was suddenly full of recognizable details.

Puzzled, I wondered how I had missed the beauty of the painting.

Then it hit me. 

Up until that morning, because of the layout of the stateroom, I had only been able to see the painting after I had climbed into bed. I wear contact lenses, so by bedtime each night, I had already removed them. 

Without my contacts, I can only see details if they are within 18 inches of my face. Today I sat on the bed for the first time with my corrective lenses on. What had been a blurry and totally abstract painting suddenly became crystal clear. I could see the details I had missed before with my compromised vision.

Sometimes I see our world the same way.

Last week I heard of a friend’s son and daughter-in-law who lost a baby shortly after birth because of a terrible congenital disorder. I heard news of an estranged father who killed himself and his two young sons in an explosive house fire. I heard a patient of mine had dropped dead of a heart attack while eating breakfast at Hardees.

From my near-sighted perspective, sometimes our world seems hopeless.

Until I realize that I have a flawed perspective. I am only looking, as the King James version says, “through a glass darkly” (1 Cor. 12:13). The New International Version puts it this way, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror.” 

Like my view of the painting in my stateroom, my perspective on life is often short-sighted and limited; all I see is what is immediately in front of me. This, however, is not an accurate perception.

When I gaze at the world through the corrective lens of the Word of God, I realize that God’s plan for mankind is not limited to today or tomorrow, to my lifetime or yours. He has all of eternity at his disposal. 

He steadfastly moves, sometimes silently, sometimes loudly, through the calendar of history to work out his plan for humanity. Although my lifetime seems like the only time period that matters, God’s word reminds me that my time on earth is just a few pages in the grand adventure of forever.

Isaiah 65:17-20 gives me God’s vision. His perspective gives me hope when sadness and sorrow threaten to distort my view of the world.

 "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind . . . the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years. . . They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them. Before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.”

If you are struggling with disappointment and discouragement, I challenge you to put on the corrective lenses of God’s word. Learn to take the long view of eternity. You’ll be amazed at what you see.

You want to connect with God, but in the craziness of life, it’s just not happening. You want practical, biblical answers to situations you face every day, but you don’t have hours to pore over Scripture.

You need a resource that answers the questions you’re afraid to ask out loud. Questions like:

• Is my situation hopeless?
• If God already knows what he’s going to do, why bother to pray? 
• Why have you allowed this to happen to me? 
• No one appreciates what I do. Why shouldn’t I quit? 

Each devotion begins with a Facetime question and ends with a biblical answer wrapped in a modern day parable. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God … Starving for Time is packed with enough scriptural nutrition to get you through the day. Wherever you are—in break rooms, carpool lines, or wherever you can snatch five minutes of quiet reflection—Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women is for you.

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