Benefits of looking again

Published 10:54 pm Friday, July 26, 2019

By Tonya S. Swindell

Benefits of taking a second look were evident after I searched for a favorite piece of jewelry but didn’t find it until I looked again the next day. Positive results were confirmed when an earring I presumed to be lost was found after I searched a second time in an unexpected location. Sometimes what I’m searching for is difficult to see or recognize, but taking a second look may result in positive consequences.

Recently, a family member found helpful financial resources in a forgotten location. Her decision to take a second look reminded me of a widow in 2 Kings 4 who lamented about having insufficient funds. The prophet Elisha presented a worthwhile solution by directing her to gather oil from the house, fill borrowed containers with it, then sell the oil. After following the prophet’s instructions, the woman was able to pay her family’s debts and survive on the remaining profits.

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In 1 Kings 18, during the third year of a drought, the prophet Elijah sent his servant back seven times to look for a cloud in the sky. While completing his last search, the servant observed a cloud “about the size of a man’s hand.” Rain eventually poured.

Throughout the book of Exodus, Moses re-examined the usefulness of a seemingly mundane staff or walking stick. In chapter 7, it was transformed into a serpent that swallowed different serpents that were controlled by Pharaoh’s sorcerers and magicians. On another occasion, Moses raised the staff in his hand while God initiated parting of the Red Sea so the Israelites could escape slavery.

Exodus 14:15-18 from the New Living Translation indicates, “… the LORD said to Moses, …’Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground. And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will charge in after the Israelites. My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers. When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the LORD!'”

Looking again requires taking risks and being open to possibilities. Although desired results may not be predictable, taking another look may yield a beneficial outcome. It requires hope and expectation.

Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation Church, preached: “50/50 Faith: Move on a Maybe,” in which he discussed the power of risk-taking. He mentioned a biblical story from 1 Samuel 14 in which Jonathan and his armor bearer devised a risky but successful plot to defeat the Philistine army. Their reconsideration of how to help the Israelites win a victory had a positive impact.

If I’m patient, looking again can work for my benefit. I might find an open door and walk through it. I could locate what was missing and find it. If I look closely, I may discover blessings that were hidden.

Tonya Swindell writes a blog for and is a teacher for Kingdom Building Equipping School ( She can be reached at