Posted by: mikenicholsblog | June 8, 2017

seeing but missing

It was a race. Me against an airplane! It all started last Sunday in such an innocent way. On the runway at my hometown airport, the pilot announced the radar was off in Detroit so we would have to wait for a while. The delay caused the plane to arrive in Detroit after my next flight was boarding. Upon arriving at the gate, it was a race to my connecting flight. We arrived in concourse B and my next flight left from Concourse A. After a long adventure of walking fast, running and generally wearing my (almost athletic) self out, I finally arrived at A6 … only to realize the plane had just left the gate. The plane passing by the window in front of me was my ticket south. I could see it, but I missed it.

The words, “seeing it, but missing it,” had been echoing in my mind for several days before I literally experienced my own “saw it, but missed it.” Those words come from a sentence that arrested my attention from the book ALL IN, by author Mark Batterson. Speaking of a personal experience, he stated, “For a split second, I felt sorry for myself. Then I felt sorry for them. Why? Because they were seeing it and missing it at the same time. You cannot truly see what you have not personally experienced.”

The almost benign sentence resonated deeply with me. Immediately, I was aware of a deeply personal burden. My wife and I love to give to missions projects and see what the Lord does. However, my burden comes from seeing what the Lord accomplishes through missions, but missing the experience. And if the Lord leads me to go, and I stay (even while giving to a project), I have seen it but missed it. You probably have personal illustrations of seeing but missing.

When thinking of this principle, I am reminded of several illustrations of how seeing but missing happens regularly in spiritual issues. Have you ever heard someone boldly proclaim, “God blesses tithing?” But churches are filled with Christ-followers who see the principle, but miss the blessing. There is no one reading this article who hasn’t been wounded by someone else. We know forgiveness brings release and healing, but without forgiving, we see it but miss it. The greatest tragedy of all is for someone to see how God changes lives through salvation, yet they themselves reject Christ. They see changed lives, yet miss the experience of redemption! I could go on and on, but I’m sure you see my point. What are you seeing, but missing?

As Christ was closing in on the cross, there is a great scene where he washes the disciples’ feet (John chapter thirteen). His words from verses 12-17 are a vivid picture of seeing and not missing the blessing.

After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing?  You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am.  And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.  I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.  I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message.  Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.”

All Christ-followers have repeated opportunities to see and not miss the experience of obeying God. It is critical that we all ask, “what am I seeing but missing?” Personally, it’s easier for me to give to missions than to go. But what will I miss? What experiences are you missing on the journey?

And, most importantly, if you have seen Christianity in action and have not yet turned to Christ in saving faith, don’t miss eternity in heaven. Accept Him today!

So, I missed a plane and got to spend five hours in an airport. So what! If that is my worst miss, I am thrilled. There is a lot for you and I to see (and experience) in this life. Determine with me not to miss those life-changing moments. Obey His leading!

PS: If you have any questions about accepting Christ as Savior, or growing on your faith journey, contact us at

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