Faith: Seeing in 3-D
By Diane Eble
My son borrowed a book from the library called Eye-Illusions. In the olden days, artists drew 3-D pictures by hand. It took them a long time to create even one simple image. Maybe you remember the pictures and the little glasses that would allow the pictures to "pop" out? Thanks to technology, artists now use computer graphics to create ever more complex and beautiful 3-D art. Eye-Illusions contains what's called "stereograms"--flat, two-dimensional pictures that when viewed in the right way appear to have three dimensions.
The book tells you: "Find a quiet place with bright lighting, and make sure the picture you look at is evenly lit. Then sit up straight, take a deep breath, and relax. This is very important. The more relaxed you are, the easier it will be to find the images, and the more fun you will have. Also be patient, especially in the beginning. It may take several minutes before you can see the picture in three dimensions. So take it easy and don't give up."
The book then outlines three methods of seeing the 3-D images. The main point is to make your eyes relax and go out of focus. Then you "stare at the picture for a minute or two until you 'feel' something start to happen." The book directs you to just relax, continue staring, and then the 3-D image will appear. I have to admit I had a great deal of trouble seeing the images underneath the picture. I had to believe that the book was not tricking me.
It strikes me that looking for God in our daily lives is like learning how to see these three-dimensional pictures. It begins by faith that there really is something to see under the colorful, abstract pattern. To see God at work in our lives, we need to believe that e is active even when we can't make out just exactly what's up.
Next, the book instructions tell me to find a quiet place with bright lighting. In order to hear God's voice and see his hand in my life, I need to get quiet within--and I need the Word of God to shed its lighten the "image" of my life.
Then I need to relax. God is at work in my life and in your life; we don't need to manipulate Him into revealing Himself. We just need to relax in faith that he is there. We need to be patient; looking for God underneath the two-dimensional pictures of our lives is an acquired skill. The more we relax in trust that he is working--whether we see Him or not at this moment--the more likely we will glimpse the hidden pattern.
Finally, one can only see a hidden 3-D image when one's eyes are a bit out of focus. Most important of all, to see God at work, let's get the focus off of ourselves. Let's tune in to what he wants to do in the world. One of the methods for 3-D viewing says to look at the page, relax your eyes, and imagine you are looking "beyond" the book. We need to look "beyond" the specifics of our lives to God's purposes--and then we will begin to see his purposes.
I want to discern how my life fits into God's big picture--and I want to conform my life to that big picture more and more every year. Seeing my life in 3-D--with the eyes of faith--will probably take a lifetime to learn. But when you and I get to heaven, each pattern will be revealed. We'll have the rest of eternity to visit God's art gallery exhibiting the pictures hidden beneath our seemingly random personal experiences. Surely we'll never tire of visiting there.
About the Author
Diane Eble is an author (11 books, hundreds of articles)and book publishing coach. This article is just one of the 260 stories you can read from her book, Abundant Gifts.
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