The Gift You’ve Been Overlooking
By Kelli Thompson
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” Genesis 28:16
The aspen tree leaves popped like golden flames against the evergreen forest. Driving through the mountains, the sharp contrast between light and dark enabled my colorblind husband to notice the fall colors. Upon returning home to the Midwest, he remained awake to the vibrant colors of fall. The colors weren’t new, but his awareness of them was.
What if, in our pursuit of happiness, we simply need to notice something already there? What if God is making our lives beautiful, but we’ve been overlooking it?
That might seem impossible when life feels hard. There was a time when everything felt dark and lonely. According to social media, everyone appeared to have what I desired. My critical attitude confirmed no one, nor anything, was good enough. I strove for achievements to keep me happy and muscled my way through relationships to feel accepted. But the harder I hustled for happiness, the further joy eluded me.
Then a friend directed me to focus on true, lovely, and admirable things, saying, by doing so, I could receive the peace of God (Phil 4:6-9). I shifted my mindset to intentionally seek God’s goodness, and my world brightened with color I’d overlooked for decades.
Brain science calls this frequency illusion. When we notice something new, we suddenly see it everywhere. Our brain maintains a heightened focus on what’s novel. Then we switch to confirmation bias, which reassures us that whenever we see our novel item, it must truly be everywhere.
I learned I don’t have to physically see God to know He’s always in my space. Knowing His brand of light helps me find Him when it isn’t so obvious. Chaos subsided, not because God changed my circumstances, but because He helped me look for His truth.
Like the blazing aspen leaves, will I intentionally seek light? Or, will I draw in darkness by pursuing fulfillment from material things? What about you? Awaken to the evidence of God’s presence you’ve been missing.
Kellie Thompson, a contributor to Wholly Loved Ministries devotional project, is a gifted writer and speaker. After living most of her life trying to make things go her way, she reveals what can happen when you let go and let God. Even the most difficult things can be worked together for a greater good when we begin our lives again with our eyes fixed above. First, a wife and mother, she also travels across the country as a leadership speaker, writer, and consultant. Kelli loves to share insights about our everyday struggles and practical ideas for the peace God has waiting for us. Read more at www.kelliraethompson.com
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Originally published Wednesday, 19 December 2018.