Did you know that some birds and bees can see things that are completely invisible to us? They’re able to see in infrared, just beyond the wavelengths of the visible light spectrum that human eyes can detect.
What looks to us like a regular pink flower might resemble a helicopter landing pad to a bee. Where we see only the uniform expanse of one colour, the bee may see a target-shaped design of several differently coloured concentric circles. The bee’s infrared vision allows it to home in on the most nectar-rich part of the flower.
The world looks completely different when you can see in infrared.
I sometimes think that God sees us in “infrared.” He can see things in us that are invisible to others, and even to ourselves.
Take Gideon, for example. His story is told in chapters 6 to 8 of the Book of Judges in the Old Testament.
Gideon lived at a time when the Israelites were being beleaguered by their enemies. Every time the Israelites planted crops, their enemies would swoop in and devour the produce and lay waste to the land. The Israelites were forced to live in caves to hide from their enemies. In fact, when we meet Gideon in the story, he’s threshing wheat inside a winepress so the enemy can’t see him.
Gideon is not only part of a nation under siege, he describes himself as part of the weakest clan in the tribe of Manasseh. He also says he’s the least in his father’s house. Sounds like Gideon saw himself as someone very low down on the totem pole, with not much of a future.
Gideon’s view of himself, however, was at odds with God’s view of him.
The angel of the Lord appears to Gideon one day, and do you know how he addresses him?
“O mighty man of valour.” Another translation puts it, “Mighty hero.” (Judges 6:12)
I imagine when Gideon heard this, he probably whirled around and looked behind him to see who the angel was actually talking to. It couldn’t have been him. The last words Gideon would use to describe himself were “mighty” or “hero”. He likely would have used words like “nobody” or “loser.”
But God saw something in him that no one else did, certainly not Gideon himself: God saw the leader and warrior he would become.
Judges 7 goes on to relate how, with the help of God, Gideon defeated the hated Midianite enemy. He indeed became a “mighty man of valour.”
I’d like to relate the stories of two men named Nick, men who most people would have written off when they were younger. They both became mighty men of valour for God, but they certainly didn’t start out that way.
The first is Nicky Cruz. You might recall his story if you’ve encountered the book or movie, “The Cross and the Switchblade.” As a teen, Nicky was a member of a street gang in New York City. Eventually, he became the leader of the Mau Maus gang. To most people’s eyes, Nicky was probably headed either for life in prison or an early death.
But God saw things in him no one else could see. Through an encounter with the evangelist David Wilkerson, Nicky gave his life to Christ. He began to study the Bible, attended Bible college, and became an evangelist himself. He converted many to Christianity, including members of the Mau Maus gang.
The second is Nick Vujicic, an Australian who was born with no arms or legs due to a congenital defect. He was bullied at school, and even attempted suicide at one point. Nick thought he’d never marry or have a normal life. Everyone who saw his limbless body probably thought the same.
But God’s supernatural vision saw a future for Nick that even he could never have dreamed of. It all became possible when Nick put his life in God’s hands.
Nick Vujicic is now a Christian evangelist. He travels the world and has written a slew of books. He’s married, and at the time of this writing he and his beautiful wife have four children!
If you feel like you couldn’t possibly amount to anything, trust God with your future. God sees beyond the visible spectrum of what others see in you. He uses his “infrared” vision to see what you could become, and He will help you bring that wonderful future to pass.
With God, there’s always more going on than meets the eye!
© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.