[December 31, 2023]

Heartland Community Church


Eyes Up

By Lisa Zulke

If God answered a prayer and provided healing amid my everyday life, would I SEE it? That is the question I’m left pondering as I reflect on the story of the 10 lepers. Only one seemed to SEE what Jesus had done for him. And in the seeing, he was moved to thankfulness that had to be expressed to the giver.

There is a mantra I learned attempting to play sports as a kid. "Eyes up, rule the world." Unfortunately, if I took my eyes off the basketball, I, in fact, did not rule the world. Or the basketball or the court. Any sport with a ball in motion is beyond my capacity to engage. Oh, how I wanted to! I don’t have the depth perception or the quick reflexes to deal with a ball in motion. I don’t SEE it.

That same mantra, applied to life, faith, and the interactions of Jesus, takes on a greater depth that I long to engage. If my eyes were up, searching for movement, engagement…the presence of Jesus, I think I’d see it! An eyes-up posture on life would increase my ability to notice in the moment, or perhaps nearer to the moment (!) when Jesus engages with me or acts on my behalf.

End-of-year reflections are an excellent opportunity to practice this reflective work. It can also be done on a daily or weekly basis. Here are the questions I try to ponder each week:

  • What have I learned?
  • What am I thankful for?
  • Where could I use help?
  • Where have I seen Jesus?
  • Where have I been able to help someone?
  • What is God saying to me?
  • What am I going to do about it?

I invite you to join me today and in the coming weeks in a posture of reflection. Of turning our eyes up. Of seeing clearly. Not so that we can rule the world. So that we can SEE the One who does and thank him for it all.


[Monday, January 1]

Isaiah 43:15-19

These verses tee us up to name what God has done in our lives (reflection), thank him, and prepare to move into the next…whatever next may be. What can you name from 2023 (the good, the hard) to thank God for? What do you need to do to be ready to leave behind those things in order to see or receive the next?


[Tuesday, January 2]

1 Corinthians 13:12-13

Life brings us to incredibly good things, and incredibly hard things. This verse reminds me that it often will not make any sense. In fact, I may want to flee from the hard that comes my way. Why would God allow this? The comfort we can take in hard moments is that God knows each of us completely. He created us. He sees us. He knows how joyous the good is, and how painful the hard spots in life are. Take a moment today to allow God into both your joy and your pain. Let him be present with you in them. What changes do you notice as you try this?


[Wednesday, January 3]

1 John 4:9-12

Jesus was the first, original gift God offered to each and every one of us. What does that gift, that sacrifice say to you about who God is? How have you engaged with or received the gift of Jesus in your life? How can you offer a similar gift (love, hope, grace) to the people in your circle? In loving those around you well, you help make God visibile. How amazing is that?!


[Thursday, January 4]

Romans 15:7-13

We are complicated people. We live in a complicated world. Situations, belief systems, pressure and stress work to drive wedges between us. To polarize us and create an us vs them world. Jesus’ way was different. How might we move toward the acceptance of one another the way Jesus accepted us? As Jesus offered us mercy, how can we offer mercy to those who are different from us? Making different choices than us? What would our lives looked like if God’s spirit filled us each with joy and peace, and we let that overflow in our interactions with one another?


[Friday, January 5]

Psalm 16:7-9

We can rest in the assurance that God is with us. That he will guide and instruct us. That we are not alone in our coming and our going. Take time this weekend to thank God specifically for his presence. We’ve focused on naming what he has done for us. Today let’s dial in to the fact that he is simply present with us.



{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources). You can also download The Bible Project App HERE.

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CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

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Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

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© 2023 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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