One of my brother’s and I’s favorite book to read before bed as kids was any “I Spy: A Book of Picture Riddles”. We had them all. We did each one a million times. Each book has a different theme with about 13 picture riddles. The goal is to find the hidden object in the midst of clutter and chaos. There are items placed in each setting to draw away your attention from the hidden gem, to throw you off, to distract you from finding the thing you're searching for which is sometimes hiding in plain sight.
“I Spy” reminds me of living life in a fallen world. Satan loves to create a setting where he has us completely distracted. He likes to condition us to expect ease and be shocked at an unwanted circumstance. He likes to tempt us to focus on ourselves so when something doesn’t go our way, our joy is immediately gone. He likes to create discomfort even in the most normal, simple day.
Have you ever had a day when everything seemed to be going wrong from the very start? You wake up groggy, spill coffee on your favorite shirt causing you to change and run late to your appointment, only to find yourself at a red light or a train that causes even more traffic? At this point, if you’re anything like me, you’re frustrated, irritated at every little thing thinking, “ugh of course this is my morning!” Your mom could call you just to say hi and yet you answer the phone immediately irritated, taking your frustration out on her, becoming the Roger Raincloud on her probably fine day.
Yeah that sounds like Satan’s ideal morning. He wants to distract you by any and every circumstance he can to make sure you don’t lay eyes on God’s hidden gems, his perfectly placed blessings. He wants you to miss out on the opportunity to develop patience. He wants you to miss out on loving people around you by wrapping you up in yourself. He wants to distract you into focusing so intensely on the ease of your day that the moment something unexpected or undesirable occurs you are immediately frustrated and irritated with those around you.
Satan likes to distract us and tell us that God shows His love by how “easy” our day is or how perfect our circumstances are. This is a lie! Satan knows that the second we see, recognize and acknowledge God’s blessings we are filled with joy! God is so good and so detailed oriented that He has placed little and big blessings right in the middle of the chaos of life. We have a God that loves us so much He leaves us little love notes on the trail of our day, but it is up to us to search and find them. Satan has us searching for ease, where God wants us to search for Him. We might find temporary comfort in an easy, laid back day, but true peace is found in Jesus, regardless of our circumstances.
Each time my brother and I opened an “I Spy” book, we’d remind each other what tripped us up the last time we did that specific riddle. We know we live in a fallen world. We know Satan is going to distract us each and every day. Because we know this, we can prepare for it. Because we know this, we can laugh at Satan whenever he tries to trip us up.
I have found myself at a red light, running late and laughing, saying to myself, “nice try Satan I see what you’re doing.” I've found myself having even more fun, fun like my brother and I had when finally finding the hidden puzzle, noticing God’s hidden blessings and praising Him for it! I have learned to find joy in celebrating the “little blessings.”
No wait for a table at your favorite restaurant? Little blessing! No flight delay and bags make it to the destination? Little (sometimes huge) blessing! An hour long phone call with a best friend you’ve been trying to schedule time with for the past month? Little blessing! The two friends that come over to cry with you when you’ve had a terrible day? Huge, little blessing!
There is so much power, hope, and joy when we acknowledge the love notes from our Heavenly Father. No matter how big or small the blessing may seem, He left it there for you to find! Specifically left for you to pick up and carry in your pocket for the rest of the day. You can expect Satan to trip you up, but you can guarantee God will be there to catch you.
Treat each day like a game of “I Spy” - in the midst of the chaos and distractions, search for a hidden gem that has been perfectly placed on your daily route by the One who created you. You’ll find that hidden gem was the exact love note you needed that day. God is the perfect provider. He knows exactly what you need, when you need it and He gives it. You just have to I Spy the blessing.
Suggested Listening: Counting Every Blessing by Rend Collective