Ch. 7: Seeing Through the Glass
Excerpts: What compels me to name these moments upheavals and annoyances instead of grace and gift? Because you believe in the power of the pit. Contemplative simplicity isn’t a matter of circumstances; it’s a matter of focus. Just like Hagar whose eyes are opened in a moment of utter desperation to see a well that had been there the whole time, so to with us there is always a well–all is well. Giving thanks is the way into joy because thanksgiving is the way we enter into God. We practice the presence of God and stay present to His presence when we give thanks. We don’t have to change what we see, only the way we see. To see all this material world as transparent glass to God. We can only experience one emotion at a time. And we get to choose–which emotion do we want to feel? Jacob hadn’t known who he was wrestling; it was the face of God over him that he was struggling against. God is behind the faces. Can you see? The Lord has to break us down at the strongest part of our self-life before He can have His own way of blessing with us. Beg to see the blessings, and all faces become the face of God. Those who limp know how to see.
I wept. God is behind the faces. All the faces of those who betrayed, deceived, slandered, and plotted against me flashed in my mind. It has been easy to see the enemy in it all, but I hadn’t seen God. Yes, He is with me. Yes, He is for me. Yes, He works all things for good. But that is different than seeing that He (not just the enemy) is behind the faces.
He broke me down so He can further bless me. He made it hard so I would be transformed. Gold is purified in fire, diamonds are cut out of stone. The path to preciousness is hard.
How we see is determined by what we look through–as seen through the power of the pit: this is mess, bad, futile, taking from me something I should have; as seen through the power of the Gospel: this is grace, this is gift, this is good, and all is well. In this world, you will have suffering, but take heart! I have overcome the world.
Change the way you see. What once was filtered through the pit can now be filtered through His grace.
And the way I see is a choice–I have been practicing choosing my emotion. I have found, for example, that if I smile over nothing–just that I’m-so-happy-I’m-at-Disneyworld-I-don’t-need-a-reason-to-smile smile–then I’m happier, the people around me are happier, and my days go better. (Hm, interesting) I’ve also noticed that some days are a lot harder to choose to be joyful, grateful–like days I don’t feel well, days I’m hormonal, days I’m tired, and days I’m busy. Yes, fatigue and illness have a way of zapping all the gift-seeing right out of me. I find myself saying thanks for every bad thing that happened…as soon as I get up the next morning. It’s a lot easier to see Jesus when I’m rested