Today we went and explored the Three Sister volcanos in Albuquerque. We took the scenic route home. It is amazing to me how much the scenery can change in thirty miles. It is easy to forget that there are so many different terrains to see – deserts, mesas, valleys, mountains, the river, volcanos. Some untouched by man, others filled with houses and businesses, and still others completely exposed by digging and mining.
I thought about how we often take for granted what we are surrounded by daily. We get comfortable in our setting, and don’t take the opportunity to explore other points of interest. I know I rarely explored nature when I lived in Arkansas. We had a few places that we went regularly, but for all the natural beauty that surrounded us in the Natural State we rarely explored it.
Since we moved to New Mexico we have been outdoors more. We have explored a lot of local areas, and a few that are south. I have enjoyed being a tourist even when my body is screaming at me. It is neat to see what God has created and the vast differences in all He has made.
As we drove, I thought about how the enemy tries to get us focused on our current circumstances. He doesn’t want us to see past where we are currently at in life. If it is sickness, he tries to tell us God no longer heals. If it is financial stress, he tells us God will not provide for our needs. If we feel hopeless, he tries to tell us it will never pass. If we feel lonely, the enemy tells us no one cares. If we feel overwhelmed, the enemy throws more on our plate.
I am reminded of the servant with Elisha and how God opened his eyes to see in the spirit what he could not see in the natural.
“Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:15-17
Yet, if we take the time to sanctify ourselves to the Lord during those times, we can separate ourselves from the enemy’s lies. We can begin to see the beautiful things that God has for us despite our current circumstances. We can see His goodness. We can be reminded that whatever we are facing, this too will pass.
When we are in the dry places, we can focus on God’s refreshing presence.
“For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes.”” Jeremiah 31:25
When we are in the mountain top experiences, we can remember to breath.
“The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4
We we are in the valleys, we can know that God’s love still reaches us.
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
When we are at the river, we can strengthen our belief in Him knowing He will fill us.
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ””. John 7:38
When we are in the fire, we can remember that He is there with us.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up in haste; he said to his high officials, “Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Certainly, O king.” He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!”” Daniel 3:24-25
Most of life is outside of our control, yet one thing we can control is how we respond to the circumstances around us. We can choose to focus on the negative and believe that we are defeated. Or we can sanctify ourselves to the Lord, renew our mind, and allow Him to show us the victory that surrounds us in Him. We need to ask for spiritual eyes to see when we are overwhelmed by what we see in the natural.