As we look into the mirror of our past, what do we see? The reflection may reveal pain and heartache, worry and anguish, joy and gratitude, hope and excitement. Often times, things appear to be one way only to find the conclusion was nothing resembling our initial expectation. God has the ability to change what appears to be impossible into an extraordinary testimony.
“I am so disappointed! I never imagined things would turn out this way.”
“It seems as if all my hopes and dreams, have all gone up in smoke. This is a nightmare, the worse day of my life!”
“This is more than I ever expected! I never imagined in a million years things would have turn out so great. It’s a dream come true!”
How many times have you heard these or similar statements, or even said them yourself, anticipating one outcome, only to realize things were not as they appeared? Life is so unpredictable. It’s sometimes like the statement from the movie Forest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.” There are times when we are devastated by the results of events that may occur in our daily lives, then times when we are pleasantly surprised. There are no guarantees. Right? Or, are there?
Most of us look around and surmise that we face uncertain times. Television has the ability to present information to distort the truth and sway the minds of the public to believe things that are not accurate. I often hear and even say myself, “Things are not what they seem.” History has shown that there is some worth in not simply accepting things at “face value.” There was a song that was popular in the seventies entitled, “What You See Is What You Get.” Surely, that doesn’t apply to every situation. Is it possible that what appears to be one way, may be something completely different? How many times have we made judgments based on appearances to find out later that things were diabolically opposed to what we saw with our own eyes? Think about it. Cases of mistaken identity, or false accusations have actually sent innocent people to prison for many years, the same travesty of justice has set guilty people free. How many times have we misunderstood, or observed just enough to arrive at the wrong conclusion? That goes to show on many occasions, “It ain’t what it looks like.”
There were three Hebrew boys who had the audacity to defy the King’s decree to worship pagan gods. As a result, they were bound and thrown into to a fiery furnace that was heated seven times hotter than usual. As a matter of fact, it was so hot that the attendants were devoured by the fire and the Hebrew boys were not consumed. When the king observed four people walking around in the fire instead of three, he was amazed that the fourth person looked like the Son of God. When the Lord intervenes, it ain’t what it looks like.
Two sisters were deeply concerned about the illness of their brother. They sent for Jesus however, after four days of the brother being in the tomb, Jesus arrived. The mourners were assembled when Jesus raised him from the dead, they all realized; it ain’t what it looked like.
A young virgin discovered she was pregnant. Instead of the prospective bridegroom putting her away quietly as he had intended, he followed through with the marriage. Why did he change his mind? Because Joseph realized, it ain’t what it looked like.
However, there are times when we witness extraordinary occurrences as we venture down the road of the unfamiliar. What will it take for us to finally “get it?” What keeps us from having something that is foolproof, what is guaranteed, something that works every time? Many times we question God’s goodness and his grace in our lives, because it ain’t what it looks like. These are gifts, not predicated on anything we have done. Receiving new mercies each day and being loaded daily with benefits, really do seem too good to be true. Psalm 116:12 asks, What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? Verses 17-18 conclude, I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people.
Some years ago at a Christmas gathering, a family member unwrapped a gift with a picture of a camcorder on the box. Amazed at getting such a wonderful gift, the box was opened to find a set of car keys and a user manual. Again, it ain’t what it looked like.
Have you ever been given a gift and set it aside only to discover that it was something of great value. After realizing the significance of the gift, you didn’t understand your reluctance for not opening it earlier. There are daily occurrences that substantiate the fact that what we see is not always what we get because it ain’t what it looks like. Many times when we are looking for a gift, we look pass one of the greatest gifts ever, a gift that initially, came in the form of a baby born in a manger. That was the gift of eternal life that has been given to us through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We are encouraged when we keep our eyes on Jesus, then what we see is truly what we get. We get the comfort of knowing that we are in very capable hands and everything works for our good because we love God and are called according to His purpose. I often say, “God never gives me what I ask for…He always gives me more than I ever expected.” God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above what we ask or think, according to the power that works in us!
“ It ain’t what it looks like!” No, it’s much more than we deserve and could ever imagine!