Reading time: 4 minutes
You’re swimming in the ocean. The sky is clear and blue. The sun is warm and bright. You see dozens of people playing in the water and countless more on the beach.
Your friends are near you. You’re talking about where you want to eat tonight. You’re relaxed and peaceful, except for your churning legs keeping you afloat.
The water is up to your neck. As far as you know, all is well. Except you don’t know what is lurking below the surface. Have you ever seen the movie, Jaws?
I chose this scene, not to discourage you from swimming, but to help you see the contrast between your awareness and ignorance at any given moment. Do you know what is lurking beneath the surface of your life?
Are you missing out on sunken treasure or are you about to be blindsided? When you consider only what is above the surface, you have an incomplete picture at best, and a false peace at worst.
God Has More for You
Your perception is your reality but it’s probably not God’s reality. God sees all; you see a little. God has more for you but you won’t be able to receive more than you’re capable of comprehending.
What you’re able to perceive is limited by your internal reality. You’re limited because you can’t yet see or accept the reality beyond your perception. You can’t accept more for one of the following reasons:
- You lack awareness or maturity.
- You lack faith or belief.
- You’re stuck in denial.
To remedy your blindness, something needs to change. You need new experiences, new eyes, or a new embrace.
If you lack awareness or maturity, you need new experiences to help you perceive more of God’s reality. You’ve done nothing wrong; you simply need to expand the number of tools in your toolbox. Seek to learn something every day.
Wisdom is with the aged,
and understanding in length of days.
If you lack faith, you need to borrow God’s eyes so you can see more of His reality. Perhaps the busyness of life is distracting you from seeing the spiritual reality all around you. Ask God for faith so your eyes will be open.
When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Please strike this people with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha.
2 Kings 6:15-18
If you’re stuck in denial, you need humility to embrace the reality in front of you. Pride and stubbornness limit your vision. Trust that God is on your side, even amidst the most difficult times.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
In God’s reality, perceptions can be misleading. What you see isn’t what you’ll get. God’s grace is beyond comprehension.
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.