As I write this, I am on tour in California with my friend and co-writer, Rachel Barrentine. We are in the San Jose area doing retreats and concerts, and today is Day 7 of our 12-day tour. I’m a little road weary, but I feel very blessed and excited about all God has done and still has to do on our trip.
As I went for my morning walk today, I saw a very different view than I see in the cornfields of Iowa. I saw the vines you see above filled with luscious grapes. There are 30 vineyards in the area we are staying in, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.
As I continued on my walk, I started musing on the fact that God wants to give us a different view of the situations in our lives. He wants to give our souls a change of scenery as He invites us to see with spiritual eyes rather than our worldly eyes.
Mark 3 tells a story of Jesus trying to help the Pharisees see a different view:
Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
The Pharisees saw heresy… Jesus saw healing.
The Pharisees were looking at Jesus healing on the Sabbath through the eyes of legalism and rules. Jesus was trying to get them to see it through the eyes of grace and mercy. He wanted to change their view and thereby change their hearts, but they were spiritually blind.
I wonder how many times we need a different view in our lives as well? How many times do we miss the miracles? Does Jesus feel “deeply distressed” with our stubborn hearts and inability to see His goodness at work in the midst of our difficult situations?
Years ago when I went through my divorce, I definitely needed a different view. In fact, I was desperate for one. When my husband left, I believed it was the end of happiness as I knew it. My initial view was one of hopelessness and intense darkness.
God gently nudged me and opened my eyes to see a different view, however, and showed me that this wasn’t the end, this was truly the beginning. This was an opportunity to reinvent my life and make it better than ever. This was like a great big do-over!
Once I chose to take a different view of my situation, things started radically changing. It was still hard and painful, but I had hope that I didn’t have before. I started seeing possibilities instead of dead ends. I started seeing the people who loved me and poured into me instead of the person who had left. I started believing that good things were indeed going to come instead of lamenting all the years that suddenly felt gone. I started seeing that I wasn’t unlovable but was loved by my Heavenly Father with a love deeper than I could ever understand or imagine.
When we look at our lives and our struggles with a different view, when we see with eyes of faith instead of eyes of fear, God reveals Himself and His love for us in the midst of our mess.
I encourage you, my friend, if you’re struggling with something in your life right now, if you’re growing weary of what you see in front of you, if your soul needs a change of scenery, choose today to let God show you a different view and remember:
What the Pharisees saw as heresy, Jesus saw as healing
What we see as hopeless, God sees as hope-filled.
What we see as broken, God sees as mended.
What we see as delay, God sees as perfect timing.
What we see as the end of the road, God sees as an opportunity for growth.
Hugs and love,
Jill Miller is a singer/songwriter and speaker who went into full-time music ministry as a way to touch, encourage and inspire people on life’s journey. Through her songs and the stories behind them, she connects with her audiences in a real and honest way. Jill’s musical sound has evolved into the sophisticated crossroads between Francesca Battistelli’s gritty, velvet clad vocals and the urban pop sounds of Amy Grant. Jill fuels her sound with liberal doses of uninhibited emotions that authenticate her lyrics and captivate her audience.
Jill is also an inspirational speaker who talks about how to overcome adversity from a woman who has. Her speaking topics include her own real life experiences, including surviving divorce, infertility and adoption, her father’s struggle with dementia, and her personal faith journey.