Noticing The Important Things

By Jerry Ousley

Our house has an upstairs. At one time it was our son's bedroom but after he left home to create a life for himself in Cleveland, Ohio it became my office. In the summer, even with central air it gets hot up there so we purchased a good window air conditioner years ago. Each summer I put it in the window and each winter I take it out. About four years ago when I took it out I noticed that the storm window wasn't there anymore and so I just shut the main window and left it be. Over the years the rain, snow, sleet and other forces of nature began taking a toll on the window frame and now a good part of it needs to be replaced.

We're getting ready to have our son-in-law come in and give us an estimate on replacing the frame and while Deb and I were talking about it the thought occurred to me that four years ago I must have taken the storm window out so it had to be somewhere in the house. I set out on a mission to find it. I looked behind all the shelves, beds, and chests but there was no sign of it. Then it dawned on me that at one time I had put some parts to a window in the closet built around the eves of the house. This closet is only about three feet high so I cleaned a path and crawled through it looking for a storm window that would fit into the small upstairs storm window frame. I did find a screen and not wanting to come out of that painful crawl space empty-handed (remember I'm overweight and fifty-three years old) I brought the screen out with me. I didn't have the slightest idea of how that would keep the elements out in the winter but I brought it out anyway just in case so I wouldn't have to crawl back in there to get it.

I got out of the closet, replaced the items I had taken out so I'd fit in there, and went over to the window. Yep, the screen definitely went to that frame. But where in the world was the storm window? As I took a closer look I heard the "stupid bell" go off in my head (that's the bell that sounds when you suddenly realize you've done something stupid). My eyes fell on the release levers of the storm window and when I pushed them in the storm window slid down into place. It had been there all along but because I hadn't noticed it we now needed to replace our window frame . . . duh!

This experience reminded me of the story in Genesis 21 about Hagar and Ishmael. Although they hadn't done anything nearly as stupid as I had done, still they found themselves in a situation where they hadn't noticed a very important part of nature. You can read the whole story for yourself but in a nut shell the pair had been booted out of the household of Abraham due to a particularly strained relationship. Abraham had sent them away with a container of water so apparently they had been in the wilderness for a number of days. The water had run out and they found themselves so distraught by the beating down sun that Ishmael was already near death and Hagar, his mother, was desperate. She didn't want her son to die. She did the only thing she could do in that situation and cried out to the God she had heard Abraham talk about so often. The Bible says that God heard them and opened Hagar's eyes. That's when she saw a well of water and they were saved. The point I'd like to make is that the well of water had been there all along. They just hadn't noticed it. After prayer God allowed them to see the obvious.

It's the same in many life situations today. You've heard the old saying, "You can't see the forest for the trees." Often we find ourselves in these very situations when the answer is obvious but we are so upset, torn up and frantic that we can only see the need and our own desperate situation and can't see the obvious. When we turn to God with our whole lives and cry out to Him then he will open our eyes to the answer that is already there. He will help us to notice the important things.

Jerry D. Ousley is the Author of three books, "Soul Challenge", "Soul Journey" and "Ordeal." Listen to our daily broadcast Spirit Bread. Find out more by visiting www.spiritbread.com or email us at jousley@spiritbread.com


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