Ask for God Eyes

Ask for God Eyes

I walked down the road awhile before it dawned on me what an odd sight it was to see a dozen dead de-feathered ducks dangling in the tree outside our Beijing apartment building.

I distinctly remember asking myself a few blocks down the road, “That was weird, right?”

Sadly, the longer we live in a place with different customs and ways of doing the things of life, the less the uniqueness of our surroundings intrigue us. “Amazing” becomes ordinary. “Wow” turns into ho hum. “Hilarious” is hardly noticed.

I doubt you would consider your life dull. But how easy it is to get caught up with the drab busy everyday and miss the brilliant color of this crazy, wonder-filled world we live in. Whether you live in a city, desert, village, town, prairie, beach, mountain, jungle, or on a ship, there’s something to inspire an “awe” near you this very moment. God didn’t skimp on color and texture in the details! He takes pleasure in your delight in His mystery and creativity in the place and people around you.

When did you last stop to take a good look and soak in the color of your life?

We can see millions of variations of color but our eyes have only three types of color receptor cones. When you look at an object, the spectrum of light reflected off the object hits those receptors and the color you see is actually the code the receptors send to your brain. In other words, you see a ripe lime as green because your brain interprets the particular light wavelength combinations reflected off the lime as green.

So literally, color is all about perception – how your brain translates what your eye receptors experience.

Kind of like life, right? Our perception of our circumstances is dependent on how our brain translates whatever we are experiencing. We understand life according to our interpretation of what is happening around us.

Adventure, love, fun, and companionship add color to life. Sorrow, anxiety, pain, and fear drain the color out.

But if you could see your circumstances with God-eyes, how would your perspective change? If you knew what He knows, how would the black and white of good and bad take on different hues and shades of meaning?

The concepts in the following passages only make sense when you see your circumstances from God’s perspective: (James 1:2-4; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; 1 Peter 4:12-14; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Consider it pure joy when you face trials of various kinds.

Rejoice if you share in Christ’s sufferings.

Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

I delight in weaknesses, insults, hardships, and difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

The receptors in God’s eyes translate difficulties as opportunities to strengthen you, transform you, complete you, grow you up, and give you access to His undiluted glory. Whatever you are experiencing, it is not random but is preparing you and creating opportunity for you to experience and reflect Him more intensely. He is using hardship to stretch your capacity to contain the treasure of His fullness. The dark hues deepen the vivid undertones of the radiance of His glory.

I wonder what color glory is? What color is fullness? Strength? Joy? I imagine a radiant rainbow far more vibrant and full than what our earthly eyes can see. When we fix our eyes on what is unseen, what God-colors open up?

Boldly ask for God eyes. Whether light trickles or floods in, may you experience the God-colors around you and see what He sees. May you pause and enjoy the wonder-filled glorious life you live.

How might seeing with God’s eyes change your perspective? 


  1. Grace L November 6, 2019

    Thank you, Patty, for this encouragement. I am in a taxi, driving around a gray city in central China. It’s all so familiar looking after 13 years in this country. Your post gives me encouragement as we face a season of challenges for getting permission to stay 1 more year. Yes, I will look at it with God’s eyes.

    1. Patty S November 7, 2019

      Grace, that can be a long wait when there’s uncertainty involved. May He give you eyes to savor all that your city has to offer. I’m trusting with you for provision and guidance through this challenging season!

      1. Grace L January 1, 2020

        Patty, I meant to respond again after sharing from your post on November 6th. I kept trying to look and see with new eyes and prayed that I would. The very next morning I slipped and fell in the hotel shower and fractured a vertebra in my back. On the way to the hospital in the ambulance, flat on my back, I looked up at the sky and the tops of the skyscrapers. I started to notice things that I never would have if I hadn’t had the accident. Once in the hospital, I spent 4 days on my back looking at the ceilings and trying to figure out my location as they wheeled me from one diagnostic test to another.

        What I did find, while lying on my back was the wonderful love of some sisters and brothers who went out of their way to help me. I found a special love with the nurses and the doctors, helping me, a foreigner, in their hospital. After undergoing surgery, I was finally able to sit up and walk. My husband and I ended up feeling that the accident was even worth it because of how much love we had experienced in the hospital.

        It wasn’t the way I would have chosen in order to be able to see God’s world better, but it opened my eyes to many things and people and experiences that I never would have otherwise. As I lay in that hospital bed, I thought about you and your post on Velvet Ashes. And even now, after an additional 7 weeks of recovery with a lot more time on my back, I am grateful for the season of rest it has given me.

        1. Patty S January 1, 2020

          Wow, Grace! I am so touched by your perspective and attitude in the midst of a very challenging experience! Your story reminds me of how carefully our Father chooses our path, and if we look for it, we will find His kindness, favor, and beauty even in the hard places.
          May your recovery be infused with deep soul rest as you heal!

  2. Phyllis November 8, 2019

    Yes! Color! I read this sitting outside in the early morning, surrounded by color. Every autumn the tree in our little yard turns yellow. Right now there are still yellow leaves hanging on it, yellow leaves coating the ground, and yellow leaves actively falling. So beautiful!

    If I remember right from Bible school, in this verse “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of various kinds,” various could also be translated multi-colored. (I am not looking it up now, so I could be off, but there is some verse like that.) We had a teacher who would talk about how for every color of trial that we were going through, there were matching colors of grace and joy.

    (And we had guests for the past week. They kept asking about things that seems completely normal to us. That’s fun. 🙂 )

    1. Patty S November 9, 2019

      Hey Phillis, Autumn is so full of beauty when you have changing colors! I’m glad you are enjoying it fully!
      I didn’t know this verse could be translated in this way, but I love the thought that for every color of trial, there are matching colors of grace and joy!
      And my sisters, niece, and nephew are visiting here this week – I’m trying to pay attention to the things they take photos of or take notice of – I totally agree it’s fun to see things with fresh eyes!

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