(Friends, during our time away, a number of thoughts and experiences occurred that crystalized into messages I'll send along this week. Thanks, Glen)
Other than birds and a few squirrels, we see very little wildlife when hiking the Appalachian Trail. That's fine with us as we are far more interested in views of trees, foliage, mountains, streams, rivers, and beautiful vistas.
Of course, multitudes of animals live on the A.T. They just don't like humans and thus tend to shy away from the trails on which we walk. I often feel sets of eyes on us, although that may just be my imagination. Again, it's fine with me that Billy Bear, Felicia Fox, and Sylvester Snake have no interest in our company, and I'm pretty glad they steer clear of our path.
We live our lives in view of many sets of unseen eyes, as it were. Some seek our benefit - "the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous" - while others look for opportunities to do us harm - "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (Psalm 34:15; I Peter 5:8). Thus, the unseen eyes offer both blessing and challenge. The Lord's eyes speak promise, comfort, encouragement, and blessedness to our hearts. Conversely, the eyes of Satan and his minions look for ways to tempt and assault us, as God allows. We live in a creation that teems with spiritual entities that cannot be seen, but who look upon us with utmost interest, both loving and malevolent.
We do well to frequently remember and remind each other of the spiritual nature of our existence. Things often seem merely naturalistic for even the most devout believer, and we all sometimes forget that "the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (II Corinthians 4:18). The Apostle Paul also wrote that "to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:6). We are not alone, a truth that speaks to us of both friends and enemies. Most importantly, our Heavenly Father looks upon us with a gaze of love that does not veer or waver. Such remembrance prepares us for other unseen eyes that seek our harm and unrest. Greater, infinitely greater, are the former Eyes, and looking to them ensures our ongoing walk of faith amid both blessings and challenges.
"Thou God seeth me."
"I will look for Him."
Weekly Memory Verse
Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
(II Thessalonians 2:16-17)