Here we are on the first day of a wonderful, New Year. I’ve never been one for making New Year’s resolutions, but a verse I read recently in 2 Corinthians has challenged me to view life differently—so why not start today? In the verse, believers are advised to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.” The irony makes me smile. How in the world can I fix my eyes on something that can’t be seen? But I do understand what the verse means.

Like most of us, the believers in Corinth are experiencing trouble. Instead of dwelling on their problems, they are told to trust that God is at work in a way that isn’t visible. They are assured that “what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Hmm. Does this principle really work? I decided to look back at some of the big and little troubles I’ve experienced over the years. Were the “seen” problems really only temporary, while God was accomplishing something else in the background, something that had eternal results? This example came to mind.

Years ago, I arrived as a freshman at Hope College filled with excitement about all the great courses I would take. But since freshmen were the last ones to register, I was frustrated to discover that the classes I wanted were all filled by the time I tried to sign up. This included “Introduction to Art” which I was eager to take to fulfill a college requirement. My advisor said to sign up for “Introduction to Music” instead, then wait for someone to drop out of the art class and switch. No one ever dropped out! I remember being very angry at being forced to spend time studying music, which didn’t interest me, just so I could maintain a B average and keep my scholarship. It seemed so unfair. But one day a handsome music major came up to me in the hallway and offered to tutor me. Thanks to him, I got an A in the course. We’ve been married for 47 years.

That’s one of the more light-hearted examples I’ve thought of, but of course there have been some serious “troubles” over the years. I thought my life couldn’t get much worse after my husband won a job performing with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in Manitoba, Canada. (Winnipeg is north of North Dakota, by the way). Thousands of miles from my family, I was stuck at home with three small children, buried beneath several feet of snow, and forced to endure sub-zero temperatures for months at a time. Believe me, I couldn’t imagine any eternal results. But that’s when I sat down one day while my children were napping and decided to try my hand at writing a novel. By the time we moved back to the U.S. after eleven years in Canada, I had finished four novels (and made peace with the Canadian climate).

As a new year begins, I’m taking time to reminisce about all my experiences, looking for the “unseen” blessing in each circumstance. In most cases, I can see that an eternal purpose was accomplished. In the cases where I can’t, perhaps that particular story isn’t finished yet. I’m amazed at God’s faithfulness in every circumstance. And while I won’t call it a New Year’s resolution, I wonder how different my life will be, how much less stressful, if I face any troubles that come my way in the new year with this verse in mind:

“. . . our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an

eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on

what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary,

but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).


  1. I would like to talk with you, about being a speaker at our Bible League Luncheon, on May 4,2018. My phone number is 3994549. Thank you.

  2. Because I’m from Holland, Michigan originally, your husband’s name and address caught my eye at the annual Brass Band Concert in Silverton, Colorado. I googled about him and up came your name and a list of your books. After I read one, I was hooked. Been reading them as fast as I can find them at our library. So happy for the little “coincidence.” God sends such pleasures our way!

  3. Thank you for this encouraging verse and your life examples. This has given me pause . . . I’ll be reflecting on this for awhile.

  4. I enjoyed reading the email you sent out. I’ve recently started reading your books and finished the Chronicles of the Kings, which my husband enjoyed reading as well. Now, I am reading The Restoration Chronicles. You are my favorite author.

  5. I am so very glad you were stuck in those frigid Canadian winters where you started your writing career! I am so very glad we serve an omniscient God, who sees the end from the beginning. And I am so glad He blessed us with your wonderful writing skills, and that you have followed His leading.

    I memorized those verses in 2 Corinthians in 2016 and they have become extra special ones, particularly when the things which are seen create stressful times. I look forward to seeing as God sees some day, and a better understanding of how it all works.

    The unseen things are the real stuff of real life with God. God’s grace in giving us faith, hope, and love is beyond comprehension, and they make life worth the living. Thanks so much for the encouragement!

  6. Lynn: I have enjoyed reading your stories & your manner of writing appeals to me.
    I accepted Jesus as my Savior many years ago & until recently I was pretty complacent about my walk w/ the Lord & His Word. I was challenged & found that hard @ 70 yrs. old because I believed by now I should have my faith & my life pretty well established.
    However by the Lord showing me my own desperation in life I had to go back & repent for the years of living in the place of desperation. This also opened my eyes to the Christian churches today. I am not judged for how I have lived & I do not judge the churches however it appears in their desperation for popularity, acceptance, & growth they will develop any activity or ministry or program to meet the needs of their members in their own desperation.
    The only answer I found in my life personally is to live out the rest of my days is to return to Jesus wholeheartedly & His Word. Anything else is a distraction from being 100% for my Lord. I love the man Enoch in the 5th chapter of Genesis who was taken into heaven by the Lord God. Because Enoch so loved God…that was all. No programs, no meetings, nothing else other than Enoch’s heart totally for the Lord God.
    Thank you Lynn, for listening to my story & thank you for writing your stories which carry us back to the arms of our Lord & God.

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