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Training Your Eyes

For a period of time when I was a kid, every mall seemed to have a kiosk or booth set up selling this crazy looking computer-generated artwork. I think there may have been multiple brands (or knock-offs), but the one I remember was “magic eye.”

On the surface, it looked like a jumble of mess and colors and pictures, but underneath it was something entirely different–a three dimensional picture that seemed to leap out at you. Well, it would have if I could figure out how to do it.

Honestly, it took me quite a while to see that second picture. The salesperson or other people would say things like, “just keep staring at it” or “try crossing your eyes.” This worked for others, but it didn’t seem to help me at all.

I was tempted to believe either they were crazy and there was nothing there or I was the only person not able to see it. I finally did see it, however. I don’t remember if someone told me or it just finally clicked,  but if I unfocused my eyes, the picture became clear.

You see, the short-lived pains of this life are creating for us an eternal glory that does not compare to anything we know here.  So we do not set our sights on the things we can see with our eyes. All of that is fleeting; it will eventually fade away. Instead, we focus on the things we cannot see, which live on and on. –2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Like that poster, you can look and see vaguely organized chaos with streams of mess that make little sense. You can fixate on the pains of this life, the betrayal of yourself or someone you love, the unfairness of situations or circumstances.

Believe me today when I say that there is a completely different picture underneath. The advice or encouragement someone else receives that helps them “see the unseen” may not work for you exactly, but don’t give up. Holy Spirit will show you or bring someone to you with the right word that opens it all up.

Faith unlocks your ability to see.

In essence you focus on something else and suddenly you can’t not see it. The enemy tries to convince you that the next picture you come to will be different, but once you learn to see the eternal, you can keep doing it and keep going until His promises are fulfilled.

The flat chaotic scene in front of you is merely a front for the fully developed reality of heaven and God’s kingdom. You may be tempted to think that somehow you will never see that reality, but open His word, experience His presence, and keep looking into His face.

That’s the reality that changes everything.

Do you remember “magic eye” posters? Did you have any trouble seeing them? What are your thoughts on this?


  1. Confession time, I never saw one of the hidden pictures. Good relatable example though. Timely word for me this week.
    Philip recently posted..My Weekend With Joseph and KelseyMy Profile

    • It took me such a long time! I’m sure I probably said I did before I actually did too. 🙂 Thanks Philip.

  2. For some reason, I don’t recall this “magic eye” phenomenon, Jason. However, what you’ve said here is so true -- we are to focus on what we cannot see with hope and faith, knowing God has the full picture, one He will reveal to us in His good time.

    • Maybe it was a Mid-Western thing! I don’t know. But thank you, Martha. We’ll just keep looking into His goodness and grace…

  3. Great analogy! Yeah, I had a book I think of them. I did see them. It was like martial arts; look at nothing so you can see everything.

    This world is a facade. That’s why the lost world is still lost -- they’re only seeing the surface and only using their senses. That gift from God of our senses is the biggest stumbling block we face.

    Thanks for the reminder of the world we live in and what we’re supposed to be seeing and striving toward.

    • Yeah, we can get so caught up in what’s around us that we miss the bigger point. God so desires us and wants for us to actually choose Him. Their are good things in the world and bad, and either one, when they grab our focus will lead us away from Him. Thanks for choosing to look at Him, Floyd! We’ll keep encouraging one another. 🙂

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