Things Aren't Always As They Seem
Did you ever see a miracle when you were a kid? My husband Rich did. When he was seven years old, he received two baby ducks for Easter. He loves to tell the story.
One frosty afternoon after receiving his new pets, Rich rushed outside to see his prized possessions…only to his horror, they were dead! He sobbed inconsolably. Robert, his dad, did what any good father would do. He brought the cage into the house and carefully positioned the ducklings under a heat lamp. Through tears Rich watched them lie there. Lifeless. Gone. Then all of a sudden, his new-found friends began to wiggle their feathers and gain new strength with each feeble tweet. They looked dead, but in reality they had only suffered from hypothermia. Rich learned a great life principle that day: things are not always as they seem.
Like Rich, have you ever looked at a situation where it appeared to be one way, but in actuality it was another? I have. I recall as a single mother going to a Christmas Eve service with my five-and six-year-old. It “seemed” as though everyone around me was happily married, especially the lovey-dovey couple in front of me. It “seemed” as though everyone left the church that evening with festive expectations of family togetherness. It seemed. It seemed. It seemed. Yet, I’m sad to say, I heard a month later that the couple in front of me was getting a divorce. What?! Yes…things are not always as they seem.
How about you? When’s the last time you looked on Facebook or Instagram and felt saddened because it appeared that everyone had “the perfect family” but you. Or name a time when you lost sight that God was orchestrating a higher plan? I actually love the promise in John 5:17. Here Jesus assures us that no matter what it looks like God is always working behind the scenes on our behalf. For example, remember Joseph and his struggles? He was sold into slavery by his brothers and served ten years in prison. I wonder what he was thinking about God’s “higher plan” during those disheartening years. Yet in due season Joseph rose to become the second most powerful man in Egypt. God verbalized His thoughts: Even in Joseph’s darkest days, I never stopped working behind the scenes.
And what about the apostle Paul? He was beaten with rods and suffered in perils of hunger. It seemed as though all his noble work did nothing but get him into more distressing situations. Yet years later, thirteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament were attributed to Paul and his journey of faith. God once again verbalized His thoughts: Even in Paul’s darkest days, I never stopped working behind the scenes. And guess what? The Father says the same to us when we don’t see any evidence of his hand in our midst.
To Rich it “seemed” as though his ducklings were dead. Yet Robert knew all along he would lead them to the warming light of a resurrected life. Likewise, our heavenly Father has always known that when we trust Him He will lead us to see things differently in time. Maybe we just need to shift our eyes from what “appears” to be true and remember…things are not always as they seem.
Romans 8:28 sums it up. God is faithful and he will reveal his work in his own timing. So maybe we just need to rest in God and quit trying to make sense of it all.