I said I wanted to keep engaging the idea of "Christ in me", having died & been raised in Him, the ways that His life is at work through me and as me. I don't want to get so heady that I can't see the forest for the trees. And I don't want to try to accomplish too much at once...but I just can't leave well enough alone. I am currently wrestling with a variety of topics - some deeply personal, some in line with current religious/political debates. But the prayer God has been breathing through me in the last few days is warming me up to something different.
I was reading Oswald Chambers' My Utmost for His Highest this week, a classic to which I periodically return for refreshing. I came upon the following from October 12:
Spiritual truth is learned by atmosphere, not by intellectual reasoning. God's Spirit alters the atmosphere of our way of looking at things, and things begin to be possible which never were possible before. Getting into the stride of God means nothing less than union with Himself.
Union with Himself.
I mulled on this and began to pray and the first thing that came out was this:
Father, give me Spirit-eyes to see.
This is it, y'all. This is the prayer I have been praying over virtually everything since it first came out of my mouth.
I am married to this great guy and we sometimes drive each other absolutely nuts with petty little things. I tend to think my petty is more important than his petty and we bicker and I am good at bickering (really - not something to be proud of). But little by little, I am seeing through my own little petty things by the gift of the Spirit and am seeing some of my husband's realities. It makes me more sympathetic and affirming, it create space in my heart for showing him greater grace. I am asking God for Spirit-eyes to see my husband's needs and hurts, so that nothing I say or do would cause him to feel unloved.
And we have this adorable tiny lady living our house - the happy baby. And she is 17 months and a walking, babbling, bright-eyed busy bee and is currently growing teeth (which sounds like it is really terrible) and is learning lots of things and so she has All The Feelings. And she has them a lot. I am asking God to give me the same Spirit-eyes, so than I can see through her little moments of angst and frustration to what her little heart needs. It is hard. I want to say, "Child, that end of the colored pencil does not color. You needn't scream at it or fling yourself to the floor, however, because as your mother, I am merely offering a helping hand and am desirous of you mastering the art of the colored pencil this afternoon. It's quite simple. STOP THE SHRIEKING." Which, you know, is perfectly rational. Except she is one and a half and the immediacy of her urgent need to color and the pencil "not working" is just too much for her little heart. But those Spirit eyes? Those allow me to speak softly and patiently (most times) and to say, "Oh, baby. Look how mama does it. We can share. Mama loves you. It's alright. Look how it works." And often, she calms the heck down and we're happily coloring in the end. Real Life Note: this response does not have a 100% success rate. But patience does. Sometimes we just have to redirect.
And we have friends and families and jobs and working partnerships and in all of these, there are chances (likelihoods) of running to disagreements, frustrations, annoyance, comparison, discontent. And because of His life in us, the life of the Patient One, we have access to what a mentor calls "the see-through power of Christ".
Those Spirit-eyes He gives us allow us to see through the immediate discord or discontent to get to the heart of the matter. Because the heart of the matter is where the Word Made Flesh is working. And I want to be so fully present and aware of my union with Christ that Spirit-eyes become my first look at everything around me.
When you are waiting on The Perfect Job and everyone around you is getting offers, Spirit-eyes let you see the reality of how God is currently providing.
When you are hoping for an answer and God seems silent, Spirit-eyes can remind you that God is always at work and His silence does not equate to ignoring your heart...His silence is often "a sign that He is bringing you into a marvelous understanding of Himself" (O. Chambers).
We don't have to compare our lives to someone else's when we have Spirit eyes to see what God is doing in our own.
We don't have to struggle against our current circumstances when we have Spirit eyes to see God's grace and provision and great love for us.
Spirit-eyes let us see what there is to be grateful for, rather than grumbling and comparing. Spirit-eyes let us see through someone else's criticism or accusations to their hurt, that we can pray for wholeness and healing. Spirit-eyes let us pass through flood waters and fire and the desert of discontent, confident of God's "never-stopping, never-giving-up, unbreaking, always and forever Love" (JSB).
So what is there in your world to see through right now? For what great discontent or disagreement do you need Spirit-eyes?