Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18,19 is a precious passage to me. God has used it to speak to me yet again. He asks me if I can SEE what he is doing. Do I PERCEIVE the new thing he is up to!
I just returned from a wonderful horseback ride and it never fails to astound me that God uses my horses to teach me about life and about Him. Today was no exception.
Imagine walking through a dark alley after midnight in a part of town reputed for being riddled with crime. What do you feel? Edgy? A sense of foreboding? Like at any moment you could be startled and it could mean severe harm? Believe it or not, that is how a horse feels much of the time! God has wired these amazing animals (since The Fall) with prey-animal instincts. This is true of wild mustangs, but also our barnyard trail horses.
Since horses anticipate they will be eaten at any given moment by a predator–not hurt, but killed– they look at the world differently than you or me. It makes time spent with horses on trails amidst forests filled with bogeys, replete with adventure.
Therefore, I have learned when I ride to see the world with the eyes of my horse. This way, I am prepared to help him when something unexpected frightens him and he jumps out of his skin (while I am still on his back). It might be a strangely moving rock (actually a lizard darting off the rock to shelter), a plastic tarp floating in the wind, or an inner tube hoisted above a fisherman’s head!
Today, a yard decoration twirled in the breeze on one side of the trail as a hiker approached with a child in a backpack on the other. Poor Harley was convinced that his life was over. Because of the way I have trained myself to see with the eyes of a horse, I anticipated that Harley might need help and I was able to be there when he needed me.
Afterwards, as I considered how we managed safely through this experience in spite of Harley’s instinctive sudden leap sideways, I realized that looking at things from the perspective of my Heavenly Father also helps me to navigate life with greater tenderness and wisdom. What does He see when He looks at the teenager, the widow, my checkbook, my calendar? As my day stretches before me, if I choose to look at life with the eyes of my tender, compassionate Father God, what will I see? What will I know or be able to anticipate? What will become possible when I see things as he does?
My son reacts to something I say and, instead of disrespect, with my Father’s eyes I see that there is pain deep in my son’s heart that he is guarding. I can come alongside and support him to process what is really going on.
A friend misunderstands me, challenging my motives and intentions, and, instead of being deeply wounded and going inward, I see with the Lord’s eyes the difficulties she has been facing and that I am a safe person with whom she can “decompress.”
His vision enables me to see that which I couldn’t otherwise see and provides wisdom to do that which I couldn’t otherwise do.
With my Father’s eyes, I see any of my “issues” and incessant longing to “just be normal” as opportunity to learn complete dependence on Him. Oh! How my struggle with this keeps me clinging to the hem of his robe!
Going through life, seeing with only my own eyes limits me too much, making me myopic or, what Jesus referred to as, “Nearsighted and blind.” I don’t want to miss rich opportunities that God intends for my growth as one of his children.
Today, I will choose to see with my Father’s Eyes.
How about you? What situation would be transformed if you could see it afresh through the eyes of your Heavenly Father?