Every once in a while, I find I am experiencing the perfect moment. Right now, I’m sitting at one of my favorite spots in Panera next to the roaring fire. The café is fairly empty; therefore, it’s quiet. I’m armed with my laptop, a cup of coffee, and Total Eclipse of the Heart on repeat. Ha! I know, the song is not everyone’s choice for a muse, but there’s something inside my spirit that keeps hearing the words, “Turn around, Bright Eyes.” (If you'd rather listen to this article, click here)
In Judges chapter six, we find Gideon sifting wheat in a wine press. Do you think this is what Gideon was created by the Almighty to do? Gideon wasn’t living. Gideon was surviving. How often do we find ourselves in survival mode instead of experiencing the goodness of God in the land called Living? What broke your heart? When did the darkness fall like a veil and cover your joy? Can you remember the last time you felt “alive”? Turn around, Bright Eyes.
Imagine. You’re struggling to survive. Well, maybe that’s not hard to imagine right now. You’re living paycheck to paycheck doing everything you know to do. Nothing is changing. You’ve lost hope. You feel like your falling deeper and deeper into a bottomless pit. Fear grips your heart to the degree that you’re doing things that have nothing to do with who you are or who you’re called to be – like Gideon sifting wheat in a wine press. Suddenly, you hear a voice. “Turn around, Bright Eyes.”
The angel of the Lord called Gideon a mighty warrior before he ever picked up a sword. Gideon was from the weakest tribe and he was the least of his family. You get the feeling that Gideon may be in need of some good counseling or a self-esteem booster. Gideon does not receive the words from the angel of the Lord with great joy. In fact, he is quite skeptical. Sound familiar? How often has the Lord given us instructions, or we’ve felt an inclination to do or say something? Instead of obedience, we strive to be logical and understand all the angles before moving forward. It’s time to turn around, Bright Eyes.
It’s time to turn around. It’s time to stop focusing on the pain of what was and look ahead to what could be. If we spend our lives in survival mode, then nothing will change. Why? Because we won’t change. We mirror where our focus lies. Therefore, if we spend our lives replaying the pain of the past then we are striving to create our own personal Groundhog Day. God’s strength for yesterday’s mistakes ended at the stroke of midnight. His mercies are made new every morning. Turn around, Bright Eyes, and see the light of day. Choose to remove the veil of darkness, and once again believe that there is a mighty warrior within you.
It has been said that faith can often be spelled R-I-S-K. Take the risk. Turn around. Choose to believe again, trust again, and have faith again. Let the hope of Christ brighten your eyes. You’re right, I don’t know what happened to cause you to feel defeated. You’re right, I don’t know the pain you feel. But I know a man name Jesus that was beaten, scourged, and crucified to heal that pain and give you victory! While we were yet sinners, Christ Jesus died for us. While we were still living in darkness, God sent His Light. While we are simply surviving, God is preparing a place for us in the land called LIVING. Turn around, Bright Eyes! Turn around and see hope.
How do you see hope? You begin to remember that God is for you and not against you. You remember that God doesn’t show favoritism – what He does for one is willing to do for another. You remember that You are not alone, not forgotten, and not forsaken. You remember that God filled up ditches in the desert without wind or rain. You remember that God enabled an old woman to get pregnant. You remember that it only took a few words from God to create the heavens and earth and everything in it. You see hope by remembering what God has done in the past and allowing yourself to believe that He can and will do it again!