When Pete Najarian agreed to help clean out his recently deceased cousin’s garage, he never thought he’d stumble onto a treasure trove. But that’s what happened. His cousin – Arthur – was an artist who left an entire life’s worth of paintings behind. Now, a decade after his death, Arthur’s collection is valued at 30 million dollars. His paintings hang in prestigious galleries and critics compare him to Cezanne and Gauguin. And to think — all of it was just stuffed into the cramped walls of the 8 foot by 8 foot garage studio where Arthur worked tirelessly for decades, unseen and unknown by anyone – including Pete!
Sometimes we don’t always see things the way they really are. Remember when the disciples tried to keep children from interfering with Jesus’ busy schedule? They saw the children as a hindrance. But Christ told them, “Do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14 NIV). When a prostitute lavished her most expensive perfume and washed our Lord’s feet with her tears, Jesus didn’t look down on her with disgust, like his religious host did. Instead, he commended her, saying, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 7:50 NIV). And even when he knew his friend Lazarus had died, he didn’t give up hope and mourn. Instead, he simply said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up” (John 11:11 NIV).
No matter the situation, Jesus was always able to see more deeply into what seemed obvious to everyone else, and recognize God’s purposes in any given situation. But we live in a physical world and have been trained to think superficially about it, as if what we can easily perceive with our eyes and “scientific” instruments is all there is. Many times, God’s presence, purpose and eternal promises are left out of the picture. But listen to what Paul wrote: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18 NIV).
When we shift our focus from the “here and now” and begin to share in the eternal heart, mind, and future God has revealed to us in Christ and his Word, we begin to see the world like Jesus did – from a heavenly perspective. When we do that, we begin to discover the many priceless hidden treasures all around us!
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.