As my husband mentioned in his guest blog post, there are times when we can be spiritually nearsighted and not clearly see God working in our lives. But, nonetheless, He IS doing something. God IS working on our behalf—whether we see it or not.
In the Bible, we also read about this concept of having eyes but not being able to really see. Jesus told his disciples he often spoke in parables because the people “Though seeing, they [could] not see…” (Matthew 13:13, NIV). Also, after feeding the multitudes Jesus overheard his disciples speaking about bread—they had just witnessed an incredible miracle and they were stuck on bread—and Jesus responded by saying, “Do you still not SEE or understand? Do you have eyes but fail to SEE, and ears but fail to hear?” (Mark 8:17-18).
In an earlier blog post I made this year, When Life Has You Feeling Punch Drunk, I mentioned how God had really impressed on my heart a verse to hold on to for this year – Isaiah 43:19. And, as the months have passed, God has continually placed this verse before me. I have seen it everywhere! On social media, in devotionals, and in books I’ve read, etc.
One specific translation of the verse has stood out to me most. In the Holman Christian Standard Bible translation the verse reads (emphasis mine): “LOOK, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not SEE it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
“Do you not SEE it?”
When I read this translation, those words struck me—“Do you not SEE it?” I contemplated and wrestled with this question.
I asked the Lord, What are you trying to say, God?
The pride in me arose. My response revealed the state of my heart.
I can SEE very clearly.
If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll know my husband and I have been searching for a place to live for over a year now, and we have only encountered one closed door after another.
So my attitude and reply to this question was: God, I can SEE that no door has opened for us. I can SEE the dead-end sign following every attempt.
We sought to purchase a co-op, and we did our due diligence by connecting with realtors, researching neighborhoods and school districts, and attending open houses.
God, I can SEE we are doing everything we are supposed to, and, yet, nothing.
According to our thought-process, a co-op fitted us best considering buying a home in New York nowadays seems financially out of reach. My husband and I reasoned we were not ready to get into a home purchase.
God, I can SEE a home involves too much money, too much responsibility, too much maintenance, etc. Would we love a home? Absolutely! But, I just don’t SEE how that could happen for us at this time.
The real estate market numbers proved my point. Our personal budget numbers proved my point even further.
Do YOU see God?
The audacity of me to question if God can see. If I were in God’s place, I would have wiped me out. But, thank God He’s God and I’m not!
In His mercy, He allowed us to continue viewing co-ops. And, in His grace and unfailing love, He protected us from getting into bad investments.
This past February, we saw a co-op in the neighborhood we wanted to settle in and we thought, This is it!
Thrilled at the idea of our search being over, we placed a bid on the apartment. The sellers accepted our bid, and we moved forward to begin the closing process. We signed contracts with our lawyer, and then waited for the sellers to sign so we could go on to the next steps.
We thought it strange after a week passed and no response from the sellers came in. So, we called our lawyer to follow-up. Our lawyer informed us the sellers had gone into contract with another buyer…Say WHAT?!
God, what are you doing?! What is going on?
And, God continued to say, “Do You Not SEE It?”
Though seeing, I was not really seeing. Though having eyes, I could not see.
So, my husband and I began our search again. We went back to viewing co-ops. This time we broadened our scope, and thought maybe we should search in another neighborhood. We dragged our poor boys out with us and viewed several more apartments. Nothing.
Then, about two months later, on a Sunday while worshipping in a church service, someone slipped my husband a little handwritten note, which said, “You have been unsuccessful in locating an apartment because you were aiming too low. You will not find one because the Lord has a house for you and your family…”
My husband was shocked and in awe. He sent me a text with excitement letting me know about the note and asked what were my thoughts.
I got excited too. I thought, Wow, God wants to bless us with a home! That’s amazing. But, that must be for the future—like five years from now. Our budget doesn’t exactly match up right now.
(Someone should have slapped me, I know…).
So despite the note, we continued looking at co-ops. We placed bids on 3 different apartments.
We placed the first bid and it fell through.
We placed another bid on a second apartment, and that fell through.
Then, we placed another bid on a third apartment (the only one left on the market in the co-op community we liked) and that fell through as well.
Do You Not SEE it?
God in His mercy closed every door. Now, I was starting to see it. God was protecting us from going a way He did not want us to go. Why? Because He had something better planned.
So, we decided to view some homes. Even though we didn’t SEE how God was going to work everything out, we knew He wanted us to go this way. And, finally, I submitted.
I said, Lord, this is scary because I don’t know how everything is going to pan out, but I’m going to step out. I’m going to do it afraid.
The day we were scheduled to view homes with our realtor, I prayed before leaving the house – Lord, please don’t let today be in waste. Please open a door.
We saw three homes, and one in particular we really loved. We didn’t know how the Lord was going to work it out for us, so we said, Lord we need a word from you—like tomorrow!
It was a Saturday and so the following day was Sunday, the day we worship in the Lord’s house. We said, we need to hear from you Lord tomorrow!
Sunday came and we went to church as usual. Our kids and I came home early, and my husband stood at church for the rest of the services. As I put the kids to nap in the afternoon, I said, Lord we still need to hear from you.
Once the kids fell asleep, I received a text with an audio recording of a prophetic message. I was floored at how God decided to send His Word. The message basically stated that the Lord was going to provide; He knew the cost of real estate; and He was going to provide for the remodeling as well.
Do you not SEE it?
Yes, Lord, now I see it.
I cried at the thought that God would desire to bless us despite my lack of faith and sight. How merciful is He? How faithful is He? Even when we are unfaithful…It’s amazing. He left me speechless.
We went forward and placed a bid on the home we loved, and it was accepted!
We are only beginning the process of paperwork, inspections, and then onto closing, but we are praying and believing that God is going to do as He said!
And, even if the deal falls through, for whatever reason, we know it’s because God has something better. His thoughts are much higher than ours. I have learned that the hard way! Not because God made it hard, but because I made it hard! A lot of tears, a lot of visits to co-ops and open houses, time we will never get back. But, we thank God He closed those doors and kept us.
I want to encourage you – if you are face to face with a closed door know it is because God has another open door much better for you! He is working all things out!
Put on “spectacles of faith” to see what God is doing! “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not SEE” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV). Let faith stir up in your heart today and be sure of what you hope for! Be certain of what you do not YET see!!!
“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will SEE the deliverance the Lord will bring you today” (Exodus 14:13).