We went on the first full family vacation that maybe we ever have had…with my sons-in-law, my sister, and my parents. It was a beautiful gift from my parents. We went to Hilton Head, SC. About halfway through the vacation, my oldest daughter said, “$200 goes to the first person to find an alligator…” (she didn’t mention who would pay this $200.) I said, “I don’t think there are any alligators around here.”
But the next day, even though I had no expectations that anybody would pay me $200, on my morning bike ride with Elana, I stopped at the first lake we came to and simply looked for alligators. And within seconds, I found one, with his eye poking out of the water, looking at me. Within a short period of time, I found three! Over the bike ride, I found a total of six, I think.
Most of them were just staring barely above the water, like the first. One was out of the water on the lakeshore taking in the sun. There he was, only a few meters from me—a killer. Obviously, they’re used to humans and more focused on birds and turtles. But it was still pretty cool to be so close to an alligator in the wild.
The point is simple. The alligators were there every day, and I took my bike ride by that lake every day, and I even looked at the birds and other wildlife in and around the lake but never saw an alligator. But the first day I intentionally looked for alligators, I found six!
I see an allegory here regarding our relationship with the Almighty. For the most part, God has chosen to remain invisible to human eyes. If you’re not looking for Him, you’re probably not going to see Him. Yeshua said to Thomas that the one who was blessed is he who believes even though he doesn’t see.
There’s the story of Elisha and his servant. They are surrounded by the enemy, but Elisha is not panicking.
“Oh no, lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:15-18)
Every morning, we should be praying, “God! Open my eyes today! Let me see You today!” God is everywhere, revealing himself in unique ways, but are we looking? According to the Bible, you could be actually having a conversation with someone, and it could be Yeshua! I can think of two times when that happened.
Miriam of Magdala encounters the Risen Savior in John 20. She thinks He is the lowly gardener when in fact, He is the Son of God! He opened her eyes. Then there is Cleopas and his friend on the road to Emmaus. The Messiah opens up the word and expands on the role He would play as a suffering servant before entering His glory. What a privilege! And here is one of my favorite passages:
Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:31-32)
In all three of those circumstances, the people were in despair. Miriam and the two friends on the road to Emmaus were dejected over the death of Jesus. Elisha’s servant was terrified that he was about to be killed. The disciples thought they were going to die in a storm on the sea of Galilee. In all of these instances, what was needed was for the people to see God in their situation.
When we encounter resistance or trials, human nature is to panic or become depressed—even to get angry at God. Our new nature demands that we look for God in those situations. He is always there. Trials test our faith. Whether or not we see God during the trial determines whether or not we pass or fail.
Every time we read the sacred texts, we should pray with David, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” (Ps. 119:18). How many times did Yeshua open up the eyes of blind people? I’m sure those people would all testify that the difference between being blind and being able to see is astounding. I would submit to you that the difference between being spiritually blind and being able to see God without actually seeing Him is equally astounding and even more beneficial to your soul.
But you have to look for Him. You have to expect him. Every morning, I was surrounded by alligators and had no idea until I began to look for them. The minute I did, I found them. The Holy Spirit is around you all the time. And that’s where the allegory ends. Gators are very finite, but the Holy Spirit is omnipresent. He is everywhere!
Here are three simple keys to see God every day.
Ask him to open your eyes every day.
Read his Word daily with the expectation of finding something powerful.
Do not let trials and tribulations take your focus off of God. Clear eyes on God in the midst of the trial is the key to overcoming.
May you see God today and every day!
And no, I did not collect $200! 😉