November 30, 2011

Wonder[ful] Belief- What Matthew 6:22-23 Teaches Me

Photo c/o: Anastasia Volkova Photography

(22-23)"Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!"
- Taken from the Message Bible (Matthew 6:22-24)

Matthew 6 is not an easy chapter to swallow, I will admit. However, I'm learning some serious lessons through it and I know that it's been a blessing straight from God to study.
Today, I'll be sharing from a personal experience.
A couple days ago, I shared a vlog entry about being thankful and grateful. I was so excited (and still am) about the message that my pastor shared on Sabbath about being grateful. I took that sermon and applied it to having real joy and haven't looked back. It was funny because not too long after I made that video, I started to get ready for work that afternoon. While I was getting dressed, I remembered that I'd have to pack a lunch/dinner for the amount of time I'd be at the office.  The thought of preparing a lunch/dinner sounded so cumbersome. I really didn't want to spend that time in the kitchen. The night before, I was craving pizza and it was still a craving at that moment. So, I decided that I'd have the pizza. Before you judge, it's actually a small enough pizza for one person's servings for lunch and dinner :) I ordered it and then finished getting ready so that I could pick it up and go to work.

While in the car, I thought about my weight and that I was on my way to get pizza. My weight has been something I've struggled with for so many reasons but to be honest, I've gotten to a place where I really feel "defeated". So I started to think about what I'd do if anyone ever asked me if I was pregnant. I'm on this "be thankful for everything" tip so I really was searching for ways to turn it into a positive. Here's what I came up with:

"Why thank you!!! You think that I look like I could be a giver of life! What an honor!" 

"Thank you for the reminder that my health is my wealth and belly fat is a stepping stone to fatal disease. This was a good reminder! God bless you!"

The more I thought of those comments, I laughed harder and harder at myself. I was so tickled that I was beginning to turn the negatives into positives. I really do need to lose weight but I don't need to get depressed about it. So as I headed into the pizza place, I placed my mind back into the thankful and light-hearted place. I guess it showed on my face because when I walked in, the first guy I laid eyes on smiled back at me and came toward the register to help me. He was so cute too :) So, I pulled out the debit card to pay him and he was having trouble with it. I knew it wasn't me so I didn't even begin to worry. I was mentally reminding myself to not buy Sprite and settle for the water in my car (healthy choices! I am trying!). He then told me that something was wrong with the machine and that it would take 10-15 minutes for them to make my transaction. I was prepared to wait and he then told me that the pizza was free. I was happy to hear that. What would've been $6 and change ended up staying in my pocket. Yay! Since then, there were a couple "negative" issues but because of a change in perspective, those negatives are literally water off a duck's back. This isn't to say that life is easy like Sunday morning but once you're in a position of gratitude with open eyes and open heart to see the world through the lenses of joy, good things present themselves! 
This is how I believe verses 22 and 23 apply to life as I've known it the past couple days. :)

What these verses teach us about life:

Open your eyes in wonder and belief. We don't want any dark cellar-type Christians!

a. Wonder: (This may be too literal but this is what I understand it to mean) I had a friend once challenge me to ask God questions when I'm in tricky situations. One of the main questions I am supposed to ask is, "God, how can you be glorified in this situation?" Then follow-ups could include: "God, I am wondering how to see the positive. I'm wondering how do I see you in the midst of this. I am wondering where to find you. That's wonder, right? haha. Or it could be wonder like awe i.e. "I am in awe of you, God and the opportunities you've created for me to trust you more!" Man, talk about spiritual maturity! Whoooo!!!

b. Belief- This is a chance for you to actively trust God and have faith that He's got you. Instead of           stepping into each moment with fear and anxiety, mentally train yourself to understand that God will not put more on you than you can bear. You're equipped to handle any situation with Him on your side. Know that and believe it!

Let me remind you that we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us! Phil. 4.13. 


  1. Wow Danielle!!
    Amazing outlook! I am re-tooling my mind each and every day to "die to self" give everything to God, and be grateful in all things!! Somebody needs to get you a publishing deal ASAP!!

  2. This is an absolutely fantastic post!!! I really enjoyed (and needed) it.



  3. Praise God! So glad you guys were able to get something from this post! I'm learning just as you all are :)