One of my favorite prayers is "Open my eyes, Lord, so that I can see what I can't see, what I'm not seeing here." It's a fact that we can't see or hear everything that is going on around us, but that doesn't mean things aren't happening. What's more, I often have blind spots to the reality around me due to bias, busy-ness, or faulty thinking or evaluation concerning what I see and hear.
One of the first examples of God opening someone's eyes to see what they could not see was Hagar, Abraham's maid. Hagar had a child to Abraham since Abraham was childless (Believe it or not, Abraham's wife Sarah, approved of this at first). When the child, Ishmael, got older, however, and Abraham had a son of his own to Sarah, Sarah changed her mind and forced Abraham to evict Hagar and her son. When the eye-opening story begins, we see Hagar sitting in the desert, alone and forlorn:
Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bow shot away, for she thought, "I cannot watch the boy die." And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob (Genesis 21:14-16).
Hagar thought what I have thought many times: It's over. There's no use. I can't make it. It was then that God intervened and saved her and the boy.
God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation." Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink (Genesis 21:17-19 emphasis added).
Hagar thought they were dead but God opened her eyes to an oasis that was nearby. Hagar couldn't see the oasis because she was sad, because she thought she knew everything about her situation and environment that there was to know. She was in the desert, they were out of water and in trouble. Yet Hagar didn't see it all; she was missing one important factor that changed everything—there was an oasis right in front of her.
Is that your situation? Do you think you are "dead" only to be missing a major source, an oasis, near where you are today? Don't spend time fretting over your situation. Spend time seeking what you can't see, that one idea, perspective, or relationship that is right in front of you, that one thing that can change your situation from despair to hope. Someone said, "When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change." Ask God to help you change the way you look at things today, even your desperate situation, and you just may see your situation change.