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Look and Notice

by | Aug 30, 2023 | Blessings, Focus, Gratitude

“I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me.” (Habukkuk 2:1a NIV)

Just look. That’s all I had to do while relaxing in a lawn chair on the deck in the backyard of my brother’s farmhouse. I quickly discovered that looking can be quite adventurous, for while looking, I began noticing what I didn’t see the first time, or the second time, or even the third time.

For example, several times I had looked under the big spruce tree before finally noticing the lilies of the valley. When I did notice these delicate blooms nestled amidst the shady greenery, I was amazed that I had failed to notice them before. Why? That’s my favourite flower!

That’s when I decided to look over the yard with the deliberate aim of noticing as much as I could. I began noticing fluttering leaves in the willows. I noticed sparrows. On and on this went. There was far more to see than I could possibly notice.

The spiritual parallel is obvious. Certainly, spiritual things become obvious if we can be still long enough to notice. I’m not naturally inclined to be still that long. But now, infirmity is giving me that gift. My time has been freed up to look and notice.

There’s been much to notice. For example, by looking more closely at what I read, I’m noticing what influenced my favourite writers. They themselves had learned to look and notice, especially when that’s all that they could do — during imprisonment, illness, or banishment. With keen eyes on Scripture, they noticed spiritual truths that we fail to see amidst our superficialities.

Oh, how easily we fail to notice the obvious around us, such as the abundance of provisions available to create well-functioning lives and a healthy society. That includes the means for spiritual growth, like free Bible resources and good teaching. Indeed, we could be the best civilization ever if more people would look and notice the vast array of blessings in the backyard of our earthly home.

Lately, I’ve been looking over the multitude of free internet programs and videos. But as I look more and more into this section of the yard, I notice one critically important caution: online resources can become passive click-bait for the godly. We can become more enamoured with these easily accessible blessings than with the Blesser. He’s often best noticed in the obscure spots, those shadowy places of dark trials. If we keep on looking there, we will gradually notice that these spots, in themselves, are blessings through which God helps us to discover the best blessing of all: Himself, God, the Blesser.

So, like the prophet Habakkuk in today’s verse, let’s remember to look from the shadowy places around us to see what He will say to us.

Prayer: Open my eyes that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me. Silently now I wait for thee, ready, my God, Thy will to see. Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine! Amen. (Clara H. Scott)

Copyright © 2022, by Diane Eaton <>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional .
Paisley, Ontario, Canada

Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission