Several years ago I conducted a television interview with a man who was struggling with cancer. I asked him a fairly typical Christian interview question: “Are you trusting God for a miracle?” And I have never forgotten his reply: “Tammy I’ve learned that sometimes the greatest miracle is just a perspective change.”
That man said a lot of insightful things that day, but it was that one phrase that kept echoing in my mind. It’s still echoing, in fact, because it has proven true so often in my life. I’ve learned never to underestimate the power of changing the way I see. And I’ve come to believe that often in our lives, we won’t be able to perceive the God who sees us until we’re willing to see things differently.
I believe it’s perfectly possible to spend an entire lifetime looking at ordinary things and events—family, friends, fear, and disappointments—and never have the smallest hint that God is there or that He is active in our lives.
It’s easy. Happens all the time.
It’s possible to look back on a life—all the things that have happened up till now—and not see any kind of pattern. It’s also possible to look into the future and see more of the same. It’s even possible to have an occasional glimpse into another dimension, a one-time spiritual awakening, then lapse back into the ordinary and never really be changed.
But here’s the alternative: We can choose to spend life in the same circumstances, the same places, among all the same people, and continually be struck by the wonderful truth that God is there, that He’s in control, that He loves us and is aware of us and wants us to be part of what He’s doing in the world.
There’s a kind a miracle, in other words, that we can choose. We can choose the miracle of a perspective change.
Does that mean that seeing God is just a matter of personal choice?
It’s always a little difficult to sort out what we can choose and what we can’t choose in this life. Theologians have been trying to sort it out for centuries, juggling concepts of God’s sovereignty and human free will, delving into the mysteries of what is up to us and what is up to God.
It’s a mystery, a paradox—that God is in control of the entire universe, yet He gives us freedom of will. And that paradox is fully in play when it comes to seeing God.
Because ultimately, it is God’s choice to reveal Himself to us.
But we must choose to see what God reveals. We must have what the Bible calls eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to perceive what the God who sees us is doing in our lives.
Adapted from The God Who Sees You by Tammy Maltby (with Anne Christian Buchanan). Copyright 2012 David C. Cook. Used with permission. Permission required to reproduce. All rights reserved.