By Major Beth Desplancke
Just recently, my husband and I took a trip to celebrate our 25th anniversary and spent several days in Las Vegas. If you have ever been to Vegas, you know that there are lots of things to see. I had a list of all the “free” things I wanted to go see at the various hotels.
One of the places we visited was the Bellagio. As you enter the Bellagio’s hotel lobby, you can admire Dale Chihuly’s Fiori di Como, a glass floral sculpture that can be found on the ceiling. Yes, you have to look up in order to admire its beauty.
In the same area, right before you enter the Conservatory, there is a beautiful fountain. As my husband was busy looking down reading the sign about the fountain (he loves to read every little sign and plague), I looked up. The ceiling above the fountain was gorgeous; it might have even been prettier than the fountain.
That’s when I felt God’s Spirit said to me, “It’s important to look up!” After that, everywhere we went, I decided not to simply look down (some of the hotels and stores have amazing floors) or even what’s in front of me, but to look up.
Throughout our time in Vegas, I made sure to admire the upward view as well.
What a great reminder for especially when we go through hard times. When the difficulties of life come, it is easy to focus just on the problem: the unexpected diagnosis, the overdue notices in the mail, the pink slip, the angry text. No matter how many great things are still happening in your life, all you see is the one bad thing, the one difficulty, the one struggle. As the saying goes, sometimes we get so focused on the details, or the issue, that we can’t see the forest through the trees – you are unable to see the situation as a whole. Corrie ten Boom, said it this way: “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God, you’ll be at rest.” The secret to flourishing in the hard times of life (or for any time or season in our life) is simply EYES UP!
There is a great story in the 2 Chronicles 20, that tells of when three armies joined together to come fight against Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and his people. The Bible records in verse 3, that Jehoshaphat was afraid, but that he “resolved to inquire of the Lord.” He proclaimed a fast for all Judah, and the people of Judah gathered together “to seek help from the Lord” (v. 4). Jehoshaphat prays a beautiful prayer, and speaks one of my favorite lines in Scripture, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (v. 12b)
They aren’t looking at the armies that are coming towards them, they aren’t looking around at their own army, and their resources, they aren’t looking at each other in a panic, and they aren’t looking for an exit route, instead they chose to focus their eyes up! They turn their eyes up to God. Why? They understand that in this hard time, He has the answers, and He will give them direction in what to do. And He does (I would encourage you to read 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 for the entire story).
In Psalm 121, the psalmist makes a similar declaration: I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth (v. 1-2). Need help? EYES UP!
King David declared in 1Chronicles 16:11, Look to the Lord and his strength; seek His face always. This is such an important thing for us to remember that the Bible repeats this verse again in Psalm 105:4. Don’t forget: EYES UP!
Sometimes seasons of difficulty, troubles, struggles and pain last a long time. We can’t just look up to Him once, but need to continually make the choice that no matter how big the struggle is that I am facing, no matter how long the trial endures, I am going to make sure my eyes are looking up to Him!
The song, I Lift My Eyes by Jesus Culture, says it this way:
I lift my eyes to the mountains
You are higher still
I lift my eyes to the heavens
You are greater still
My strength comes from the Lord
The maker of it all
My strength comes from the Lord
A mighty fortress
For every weakness
I am not helpless
You’ve never failed me once
I have a Savior
For every failure
I am not hopeless
You’ve never failed me
So no matter what we are experiencing, whatever hardships that might be in front of us, whatever struggles we may have to endure, may we be women who remember the key to flourishing, even in the hard times is the: EYES UP!